Legal settlement of filiation

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I had a boyfriend for three years. He left me for another woman, but before we parted, I was already two months pregnant with our son. He did not stay even though he knew I was bearing his child.

A year later, I met another man who is now my live-in partner. My question is: can I declare him as the father of my son although he is really not the biological father? He is willing to have his name appear in my son’s birth certificate, which until now I have not filed since I

am really ashamed of what happened to me. We just want him to use my partner’s surname so that when he starts going to school, there would be no confusion.

We also have plans of getting married by the end of the year. Apart from that, I also have not spoken to the father of my child and I do not think that he even cares about us. Please enlighten me.
Lady Perplexed


Dear Lady Perplexed,
We do not advise you to declare your present live-in partner as the father of your illegitimate child in the latter’s birth certificate even if he is willing to have his name appear in your son’s birth certificate. First of all, you know very well that your live-in partner is not the biological father of your son. Rather, it is your former boyfriend who is the father of your child. Hence, there is no legal basis for such declaration. It will only create confusion as to the filiation of your child to his real father.

Secondly, to expressly declare your live-in partner in the birth certificate of your son as the latter’s father would amount to a commission of the crime of falsification. It is clearly stated under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) that a private individual shall be penalized if he/she shall, in any public or official document, commit any of the falsifications enumerated in Article 171, of the said law, to wit: “x x x 1. Counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature or rubric; 2. Causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate; 3. Attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding statements other than those in fact made by them; 4. Making untruthful statements in a narration of facts; 5. Altering true dates; 6. Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning; 7. Issuing in an authenticated form a document purporting to be a copy of an original document when no such original exists, or including in such a copy a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original; or 8. Intercalating any instrument or note relative to the issuance thereof in a protocol, registry, or official book. x x x” (Emphasis supplied)
If you truly intend to give what is best for your son, then you should only declare what is true in his birth certificate. Besides, you mentioned that you and your live-in partner have plans of binding yourselves in marriage. You may look into the possibility of adoption after the celebration of your marriage. That way, their filiation may be legally settled and your son may then lawfully be allowed to use his surname.

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 appre–ciation 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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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