Parent-child relationship goes beyond birth record

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dearpao

Dear PAO,
Is it possible for an illegitimate child to ask for support from his father if the latter did not recognize him in the birth certificate? The father has been giving support until the child was 10 years old. But the father stopped giving support from the time the child turned 11 years old. I hope you can give advice. Thank you very much.
Sasha

Dear Sasha,
An illegitimate child may demand financial support from his or her parents because the obligation of the latter is imposed upon them by law. It is clearly provided for under Article 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines that, “x x x the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article: x x x (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; x x x” Nevertheless, it is essential for the child or his legal guardian to prove the former’s filiation with the parent he or she is seeking financial support from.

In the situation that you have presented before us, we submit that the child, or his mother or legal guardian, may still ask support from his father despite the fact that the latter failed to recognize him in his birth certificate. It is worth emphasizing that filiation or the relationship which exists between a parent and a child is not solely established by means of the record of birth as appearing in the civil register. The child may present concrete evidence that can confirm that his father has supported him in the past. Furthermore, pursuant to Article 175 in relation to Article 172 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the child, his mother or legal guardian may still prove such filiation through the following: (1) a final judgment clearly indicating that the father acknowledged the child as his son; or (2) an admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the father. In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the illegitimate filiation shall be proved by: (a) the open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or (b) any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

Formal demand for support may be sought once the child, his mother or legal guardian is in possession of proof of illegitimate filiation between the child and the father. Should the father refuse to provide support, the child, his mother or legal guardian may consider filing an action for support before the Regional Trial Court of the place where the child resides.

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.

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