Illegitimate child can use father’s surname after legitimation process

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear Cresta,
A petition for correction of entry in the civil register may be filed pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9048 and R.A. No. 10172, if there are clerical or typographical errors in the entry/entries made as well as for the change of first name or nickname, the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person. If cancellation of entries or substantial changes is to be made, the petition may be filed pursuant to Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court.

In the situation that you have presented, we do not see any error in your birth certificate which needs to be corrected, clerical or otherwise. In fact, we note that at the time of your birth, your parents were not yet married, thereby making you an illegitimate child. Necessarily, you will be using the surname of your mother as this is in consonance with the law pertinent at the time, particularly Article 176 of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines, which provides that: “Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code.”

Nevertheless, you may opt to apply for the registration of your legitimation, provided that the following requisites concur: (1) You were conceived and born outside a valid marriage; (2) At the time you were conceived, your parents were not disqualified by any legal impediment to marry each other, or if they were so disqualified, it is only because either or both of them were below eighteen years of age at the time; and (3) Your parents subsequently enter into a valid marriage (Section 1, Republic Act No. 9858).

Correspondingly, your parents must execute an Affidavit of Legitimation. If one of them has already passed away or has been presumed dead, the surviving parent must execute such affidavit stating: (1) their names and place of residence; (2) date and place of the solemnization of their marriage; (3) name of the officer who officiated their marriage; (4) your name as the child to be legitimated; (5) date and place of your birth; (6) the fact that at the time you were conceived, they had no impediment to marry each other, unless the impediment relates to their age; and (7) that they entered into a valid marriage and that by virtue of said marriage, you are legitimated. If such Affidavit is executed within the Philippines, it must be registered at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) of Manila (Rule 4, Implementing Rules and Regulations, R.A. No. 9858).

Once your legitimation is validly registered, you may exercise all the rights of a legitimate child, one of which is to use the surname of your father (Article 179 in relation to Article 174 (1), Family Code of the Philippines). As a consequence thereof, a certified true copy of your certificate will be issued bearing the following annotation: “Legitimated by the subsequent marriage of parents <name of the father> and <name of the mother> on <date of marriage> at <place of marriage> under registry number < registry number of the Affidavit of Legitimation>. The child shall be known as <name of child by virtue of legitimation>.”

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.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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  1. Maria Angela Tabudlong on

    Paano po yong sa situation ko? Sa birth certificate ko po nakalagay Maria Angela Castillo, (maiden ng mama ko). Ang Castillo po ay nalagay sa middle name na dapat sana ay sa surname kasi illigitimate nga ako. Bale ipinanganak po ako before ang kasal nang parents ko. Paano po eto i correct na both may parents are now deceased? Ang mas malaking problema po ay ang ginagamit ko ay apelyedo na nang papa ko sa school at sa mga identifications ko. Pati mga anak ko ang ginagamit na middle name ay apelyedo ng papa ko. thanks

  2. Ma.Imelda Subido on

    Panu po ung sa case ko 4 ang anak ko lahat sila unknow ang father sa birthcert. kasi po sa bahay làng aq nanganak sa lahat 1995 ang panganay ko at May 2001 ang bunso namatay naman po ang asawa ko ng Dec 3 2000, lahat po sila late registered hindi po kami kasal ng tatay nila kaya po nung pinarehistro ko sila wala na pong pipirma, kaya ung sa city hall di pumayag ngaun po ung mga anak ko nag tatanong kung bakit ganun daw,kaya ganun din po ang tanong ko anyway iisa làng po ang tatay ng mga anak ko panu po ba magandang gawin?

  3. Jonelyn Imperial on

    Good morning. I am very much confused, I have this situation that my husband’s son is using his surname. His son was born 1999.

    Thank you.