• Illegitimate child can’t inherit from parents of mom/dad

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    Can an illegitimate child inherit from the legitimate parents of his father?        

    Dear Glem,
    According to the New Civil Code of the Philippines, an illegitimate child cannot inherit from the intestate estate of the legitimate children or relatives of his/her father or mother and vice versa. This is according to Article 992 of the code, which provides:

    “Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relative inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child.”

    The Supreme Court in the case of Olivia S. Pascual vs. Esperanza C. Pascual-Bautista (G.R. No. 84240, March 25, 1992), expounded on the reason behind the prohibition mentioned in Article 992 of the code, to wit:

    “Article 992 of the Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between an illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of the legitimate child. They may have natural blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family, there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment.”

    Also, the word “relatives” shall be construed in its general sense, which includes ascendants, among others. (Anselma Diaz vs Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. L-66574 June 17, 1987)

    That being the case, an illegitimate child cannot inherit from the legitimate parents of his/her father or mother, except through a will, duly executed by the latter in accordance with the form and solemnities prescribed by law, expressly bequeathing property to the former.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

    We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

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


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    1. christene teriote on

      Good day po…
      isa po akong single parent,sense birth po ng anak ko ni minsan po d ako humingi ngtulong sa ama ng anak ko.gamit po ng anak ko apelyido ng ama nya.pero po simula ng nagkaisip sya ayaw nya na po itong gamitin,gusto nya n apwlyido ko.sa ngaun po gamit po nya sa school ay ung apwlyido ko at wala po syang meddle nem.
      pede ko po ba ilipat nalang sa pangalan kk anak ko? Salamat po…

    2. Rose Angelica Guisadio on

      Hi good day just want to seek for your advise. The father’s name of my daughter appear/ written as unknown in her birthcertificate.Since we are filling for affidavit of acknowledgment, they want us to show documents that confirm the relation between my daughter and his father. But as we try to put her as beneficiary under the father’s sss and pag ibig, we cannot make it since no name appears or unknown was written on it. What shall we do to change it from unknown to the real name of the father… I hope that you could respond with this it will be a great help.. thank you