I am an illegitimate child. I am using the surname of my mother, and have no middle name in my birth certificate. I am applying for work abroad, and I was advised by my recruitment agency to put a middle name in my passport. Can I use the middle name of my mother as my middle name? How can I have a middle name?
Section 1 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9255 provides that illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother. They may only be allowed to use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father, provided, the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime.
You did not mention if you were duly recognized by your father as his own illegitimate child. If this is the case, you may still be able to use his surname even if you were previously registered under the surname of your mother. You may do so by going to the Local Civil Registry Office of the place where your birth certificate was registered and submitting to them their documentary requirements. Once you were able to use the surname of your father, you shall be using the surname of your mother as your middle name.
On the other hand, if you were not duly recognized by your father, you will only be allowed to use the surname of your mother and will not have a middle name. Middle names serve to identify the maternal lineage or filiation of a person as well as to further distinguish him from others who may have the same given name and surname as he has. (In Re: Petition for Change of Name and/or Correction/Cancellation of Entry in Civil Registry of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang vs. Cebu City Civil Registrar, G.R. No. 159966, March 30, 2005). If you will use the middle name of your mother, you might be mistaken as your mother’s sibling rather than her 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