Under our laws at present, how can a father show that he recognizes his child? Does a letter coming from a putative father addressed to the US Embassy allowing his child to travel constitute as sufficient form of recognition? Article 271 of the Civil Code mentions a manner of recognition by parents. Kindly explain what this means. Thank you.
Dear RL 33,
You are correct in stating that Article 271 of the Civil Code made mention of a child’s recognition by his or her parents. We, however, want to emphasize that this legal provision has been repealed pursuant to Article 254 of Executive Order 209, as amended, or more commonly known as the Family Code of the Philippines.
Under our laws at present, the filial relationship of legitimate children may be established by any of the following means: (1) record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by the open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child, or any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws (Article 172, Family Code).
Where illegitimate children are concerned, their illegitimate filiation may be established in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children (Article 175, Family Code).
Applying the foregoing in the situation that you have presented, it may be said that the letter that was executed by the putative father addressed to the Embassy of the United States, allowing his child to travel may serve as a proof of such recognition, provided that he clearly and explicitly admits therein his illegitimate filiation with the child concerned. If the letter is not duly notarized or does not appear in a public instrument, it must be handwritten and signed by the father of the child.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
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