• Illegitimate child seeking financial support must first be recognized by father

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    My daughter got pregnant by her boyfriend and gave birth to a baby boy. The problem now is her boyfriend has refused to acknowledge their child and he even refused to give support by falsely claiming that my daughter has another boyfriend who is the real father of the child. Can we file a petition for support against my daughter’s boyfriend to compel him to support the child?

    Dear Ker,
    Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family (Article 194, Family Code of the Philippines). Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter are obliged to support each other pursuant to Article 195 (4) of the code.

    In order for the petition for support of illegitimate child to prosper, it is necessary that the child is acknowledged by the father, otherwise you have to file a petition for recognition of illegitimate child against the putative father.

    In Dolina vs Vallecera (G.R. No. 182367, December 15, 2010), the Supreme Court said that:

    (T)o be entitled to legal support, petitioner must, in proper action, first establish the filiation of the child, if the same is not admitted or acknowledged. Since Dolina’s demand for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Vallecera’s illegitimate child, the latter is not entitled to such support if he had not acknowledged him, until Dolina shall have proved his relation to him. The child’s remedy is to file through her mother a judicial action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition. If filiation is beyond question, support follows as matter of obligation. In short, illegitimate children are entitled to support and successional rights but their filiation must be duly proved.

    Dolina’s remedy is to file for the benefit of her child an action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition in order to establish filiation and then demand support. Alternatively, she may directly file an action for support, where the issue of compulsory recognition may be integrated and resolved.

    In your case, the petition for illegitimate recognition can be supported by the proofs of filiation under Article 172 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which are as follows:

    the record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgement; or

    an admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned;

    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.

    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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