Proof of child filiation needed before grant of parental support

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I was impregnated by a man who is already married. He used to provide for the financial needs of our child. But after several months from the birth of our child, he simply stopped giving us money. Is there anything I can do that can compel him to provide support? Will there be any concern since he did not sign in the birth certificate of our child? Can I also have his professional license revoked or cancelled?
HTM

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Dear HTM,
There is no question that a parent is obliged to provide support for his or her child. This obligation is clearly provided for under Article 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which reads: “Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article: x x x (3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; x x x”

However, we would like to emphasize that it is necessary that the filiation of the child and the parent concerned be proven in order that the former can lawfully invoke his or her right to such support from the latter. Under the law, illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as will be used in establishing legitimate filiation, that is, through: (1) the record of birth as appearing in the civil register or a final judgment, which indicates the recognition of the parent concerned of their illegitimate filiation; (2) admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned; (3) the open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child; or (4) any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws (Article 175 in relation to Article 172, Family Code of the Philippines).

In the situation that you have presented before us, you may demand from the father of your child to provide financial support which would answer for your child’s needs, whether it be for his or her sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation.

However, you may find it difficult to assert your child’s right to such support considering that he did not acknowledge their illegitimate relationship in the child’s birth certificate. You should, therefore, be able to establish their filiation through the other means above-stated.

Insofar as your desire to seek for the cancellation of the professional license of the father of your child, we want to emphasize that your concern affects his civil obligation over his child, not an infraction of his duties as a professional. You may only seek for the cancellation or revocation of his license if you can establish that his failure to provide support for the child constitutes a violation of the Code of Ethics of his particular profession.

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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