My status in my birth certificate is illegitimate because my parents were not yet married when I was born in 1986. They got married only when my sibling was born in 1992. May I avail of the process of legitimation?
Legitimation is a process wherein a child who was born out of wedlock and is therefore, considered illegitimate, shall, by fiction, be considered legitimate upon the valid marriage of his parents. This process, however, only applies to parents of an illegitimate child who, at the time of the child’s birth, were not under any legal impediment to marry except the impediment of minority at the time of his birth (Section 1, Republic Act (RA) No. 9858).
To qualify for legitimation, the following requisites must be complied with: the parents of the illegitimate child were not under any legal impediment to marry each other except when they were disqualified because either or both of them were below 18 years of age; and subsequent valid marriage between the parents of the illegitimate child (Section 1, RA No. 9858).
If both of the aforementioned requisites are present in your case, you may avail of the process of legitimation by filing an application with the Civil Registry Office where your birth certificate was registered. Once you have complied with the documentary requirements for legitimation, your status will be changed from illegitimate to legitimated without need of court order.
On the other hand, you may not undergo the process of legitimation if at the time of your birth, your parents have a legal impediment to marry aside from the legal impediment of minority. Nevertheless, your status may still be elevated to that of a legitimate child through adoption. In such case, your parents shall need to file a petition for your adoption before the family court of the place where you are residing. If the petition is granted, you will become their adopted child and shall have the same rights and obligations as that of a legitimate child.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org