Legitimation

Release Date: 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Who are legitimate children?

Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate. (Art. 225, Civil of the Philippines).

Children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate.

Children conceived as a result of artificial insemination of the wife with the sperm of the husband or that of a donor are likewise legitimate children of the husband and his wife, provided that both of them authorized or ratified such insemination in a written instrument executed and signed by them before the birth of the child. The instrument shall be recorded in the civil registry together with the birth certificate of the child. (Art. 164, Family Code of the Philippines).

Is the child considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy?

The child shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. (Art. 167, Family Code of the Philippines)

What are the rights of legitimate children?

Legitimate children shall have the right :

  1. To bear the surnames of the father and the mother:
  2. To receive support from them, from their ascendants, and in a proper case, from their brothers and sisters, in conformity with article 291 and,
  3. To the legitimate and other successional rights which this Code recognize in their favor. (Art. 263, Civil Code of the Philippines)

Does the practice of some Filipino Muslim of using the first name of the father as the family name of the children violate the provisions on the use of surnames?

Legitimate child have the right to bear the surname of the father and of the mother. (Art. 62(a) of P.D. 1083 (Code of Muslim Personal Law of the Philippines).

The provisions of the law governing use of surnames were formulated in order to avoid confusion in the use of surnames, and to settle doubts on their proper use (Report of Code Commission, p51, cited in Tolentino, supra, p.721), we are unable to find any provision in the Muslim Code or the Civil Code which would authorize the use of the name as the family name of surname of the children of Muslim parents, for purposes of registration, especially in accomplishing the Certificate of Live Birth (Mun. Form No.102).

Accordingly, unless the law is amended to reflect the alleged tradition or practice, the children should bear the family or surname of their father for registration purposes. (Opinion No. 112, Series of 1985, from the Minister of Justice Estelto P. Mendoza)

Who are illegitimate children?

Children conceived and born out a valid marriage are illegitimate, unless otherwise provided in the Family Code (Art. 165, F.C.)

Who are considered illegitimate children?

The following are illegitimate children :

  1. Children born to couples who are not legally married or of common-law marriages;
  2. Children born of incestuous marriages;
  3. Children born of bigamous marriages;
  4. Children born of adulterous relations between parents;
  5. Children born of marriages void for reason of public policy under Art. 38 of the Family Code;
  6. Children born of couples below 18, whether they are married (which married is void) or not; and,
  7. Children born of other void marriages under Art. 15 unless otherwise provided. (OCRG Cir. No. 89-13 dated July 17, 1989)

What is the rule on the registration of births of illegitimate children who were born prior to August 3, 1988?

Illegitimate children as defined under the Civil Code of the Philippines who were born prior to August 3, 1988 and whose births were not previously registered shall be registered under the following rules in addition to those provided for delayed registration of births;

  1. Recognition or acknowledgement of an illegitimate child may be made jointly by the father and mother or by only one of them (Art. 276, C.C.) When the father or the mother makes the recognition separately, he or she shall not reveal the name of the person with whom he or she had the child; neither shall he or she state any circumstance whereby the other parent may be identified (Art. 280, C.C.)
  2. An illegitimate child has the right to bear the surname of the parent recognizing him (par. 1, Art. 282, C.C.) However, an illegitimate child who is not recognized or acknowledged by both parents in accordance with law shall be registered under the surname of the mother (Opinion No. 147 s. 1986, Minister of Justice)
  3. Recognition shall be made in the record of birth, a will, statement before a record, or in any authentic writing (Art. 278, C.C.). If made on record of birth at the time of registration the affidavit of acknowledgement printed at the back of the certificate of live birth shall be signed and sworn to jointly by the parents of the illegitimate child, or only by the mother if the father refuses (Sec. 5, Act No. 3753).

May an illegitimate child born on or after August 3, 1988 carry the surname of the father if the father executed an affidavit of admission of paternity?
 

Illegitimate children born on or after August 3, 1988 shall use the surname of the mother. (Section 1 OCRG Circular No.4 dated October 11, 1988).

The father of an illegitimate child who wishes to have his name indicated in item 13 of the Certificate of Live Birth shall execute an affidavit of Admission of Paternity in lieu of the affidavit of acknowledgement. The purpose of affidavit of admission of paternity is for the support and succession only, and it does not entitle the illegitimate child to use the surname of his father. (Section 2 OCRG Circular No. 4 dated October 11, 1988)

What is the rule on the registration of births illegitimate children who were born on August 3, 1988 and thereafter?

The following rules shall govern the registration of illegitimate children who were born on August 3, 1988 and thereafter:

  1. An illegitimate child shall use the surname of his mother (Art. 176, F.C.) regardless of whether or not his father admits paternity (opinion of Civil Code Revision Committee, September 23, 1988).
  2. The name of the father of the illegitimate child may be indicated on the birth certificate of the latter whenever the former executes an affidavit of admission of paternity, provided that such affidavit shall not affect the naming of the illegitimate child (opinion of the Civil Code Revision Committee, September 23, 1988)
  3. The affidavit mentioned in the immediately preceding paragraph, if executed by the father shall be permanently attached to and shall form part of the birth certificate of the illegitimate child. The birth certificate in such a case must have a remark "With Attached Affidavit of Admission of Paternity" impressed with a rubber stamp at the upper left-hand margin and duly signed by the local civil registrar or authorized civil registry personnel.
  4. Illegitimate children falling under this classification who were not registered within the prescribed period of registration shall comply with the requirement of delayed registration of births. (Section 4 Circular No. 89-13 dated 17 July 1989)

What consist the full name of an individual?

The full name of an individual consists of a first or given name, a middle name which is the mother's maiden surname and the last name which is generally the father's surname. Entries of names in the birth certificate should, as much as possible and legally permissible, follow the above convention. (I.M. p 14)

Is it permissible to leave the first name of the child blank in case the parents cannot decide on the name yet?

If until registration the parents are not decided on the first name for the child, write only the middle and last name but never write "Baby Boy or Baby Girl". Entries such as "Jr." of "II" affixed to an individual's first name to distinguish him from an ascendant of the same name are acceptable as added identification. (I.M. p. 14-15).

What are the rules in making the entry of the last name of a child?

  • For a child born to a legally married couple, write the last name of father ;
  • For a child born to a mother who is not married during a pregnancy and at the time of birth, the following rules shall apply:
    1. If the child was born on or after 3 August 1988, write the last name of the mother.
    2. If the child was born before 3 August 1988:
      • Enter the last name of the father if both parents execute the Affidavit of Acknowledgement at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth.
      • Enter the last name of the acknowledging parent if either the father or the mother alone acknowledges the child. In this case, no information should lead to the identity of the parent not acknowledging the child, that is, the space provided for the information about the parent must have "Not Applicable" or "N.A." as entry".
      • If no parent acknowledges the child, enter the last name of the mother (I.M. p. 15-16)

 What is the rule in the registration of the place of birth?

  1. For births that occur in hospital, clinic or institution, write the complete name and address of the hospital or institution.
  2. For births that did not occur in any of the above institution, write the complete address where the birth occurred. (I.M. p. 17)

Is it important to indicate the date and place of the marriage of the parents in the certificate of live birth?

It is extremely important that this item (Item 18) is not left blank, otherwise, the legitimacy of the child will be questioned.

If the parents have forgotten the exact date of their marriage, enter the approximate year. If they cannot approximate the year, enter "forgotten".

Enter "Not Applicable" if the child has unknown father or mother.

Enter "Unknown", "Don't Know" or "D.K." if the informant could not supply the information.

Enter "Not Married" if the parents of the child are not legally married on or before the birth of the child and their names appeared in Item 6 and Item 13. (I.M. p. 24-25)

What is the implication if Item 22 (Received at the Office of the Civil Registrar) is not signed by the receiver?

The signature affixed in this item indicates that the certificate was filed and accepted by the civil registrar. The date indicates whether the birth certificate was filed within the reglamentary period.

The absence of the necessary signature in Item 22 can be a basis for questioning the validity of the certificate. (I.M. p.27)

What is meant by an “Out-of-town Reporting of Birth”?

An out-of-town reporting of birth occurs when the Certificate of Live Birth is presented to the civil registrar of a city or municipality which is not the place of birth, not for registration but to be forwarded to the civil registrar of the city or municipality where the birth occurred and where it should be registered.

The duty of accepting Certificate of Live Birth for out-of-town reporting by the concerned civil registrar may also be performed by the Civil Registrar-General of by his authorized representatives who are the Regional Administrators and Provincial Statistics Officers of the National Statistics Office. (Rule 20, A.O. No. 1 s 1993).

What are the requirements to be complied with by the concerned parties in the out-of-town reporting of birth?

  1. The party who is applying for out-of-town reporting of birth shall execute an affidavit declaring therein, among other things, the facts of birth and the reasons why said birth was not recorded in the civil registrar of the city or municipality where it occurred. The affidavit which must be attested by at least two (2) witnesses, shall serve as an application for registration shall be submitted to the civil registrar together with four (4) copies of the Certificate of Live Birth;
  2. If the application is for delayed registration of birth, the requirements under the rules governing delayed registration of birth shall also be complied with;
  3. The civil registrar or the authorized representative of the National Statistics Office to the application for out-of-town reporting is presented may require from the applicant such other supporting papers as may be considered necessary in establishing the facts of birth especially those pertaining to the date and place of birth and filiation of the child whose birth is being sought for registration;
  4. The Certificate of Live Birth, for the purpose of this Rule, shall have the marginal annotation in the form of the following remark : "Registered pursuant to Rule 20 of the Administrative Order No. 1, s. 1993" ; and,
  5. The civil registrar of the city or municipality where the out-of-town reporting is sought, upon receipt of the Certificate of Live Birth and pertinent papers, shall proceed with the registration. He shall indicate the date when he received the document, and shall sign over his printed name in appropriate space in the Certificate of Live Birth. When the Certificate of Live Birth has been duly recorded and assigned a registry number, the civil registrar shall send back the original copy to the civil registrar or the authorized representative of the National Statistics Office who forwarded the Certificate of Live Birth, who in turn shall give the copy bearing the registry number to the registrant. (Rule 20, A.O. Order No. 1 S. 1993)

What is the legitimation and who can be legitimated?

  1. Legitimation is a remedy by means of which those who in fact were not born in wedlock and should, therefore, be considered illegitimate, are, by fiction, considered legitimate, it being supposed that they were born when their parents were already validly married. (1 Manresa 550, as cited on p. 251, Handbook on Family Code of the Philippines, Alicia V. Sempio-Diy).
  2. Only children conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediments to marry each other, may be legitimated. (Art. 177, Family Code)
  3. Legitimation of children by subsequent marriage of parents shall be recorded in the civil registry office of the place where the birth was recorded. The requirements for registration of legitimation of illegitimate children are:

a) Certificate of Marriage;

b) Certificate of Live Birth of the child;

c) Acknowledgement (not required for illegitimate children born on or after 3 August 1988);

d) Affidavit of legitimation executed by both parents which shall contain the following facts:

(1)  the names of the parents;

(2) that at the time when child was conceived, the  aforesaid parents could have contracted marriage,  and that they subsequently contracted marriage, 

(3) the date and place when such marriage was   solemnized;

(4)  the name of the officer who officiated the marriage;

(5) the city or municipality where such marriage was recorded;

(6) the name of the child to be legitimated, and the other facts of birth;

(7) the date and place where the birth of the child was registered; and

(8) the manner by which the child was acknowledged by the parents which may be in the child’s record of birth, in  a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing (not required for illegitimate children born on or after 3 August 1988).

  1. For a child to be considered legitimated by subsequent marriage, it is necessary that:
  • the parents could have legally contracted marriage at the time the child was conceived ;
  • that the child has been acknowledged by the parents before or after the celebration of their marriage ; and
  • the acknowledgement has been made with the consent of the child, if age or with the approval of the court, if a minor, unless it has been made in the certificate before a court of record, or in any authentic writing.

The original family name of the child as appearing in Registrar of Births shall not be erased or deleted, but in the remarks space shall be written "Legitimated by Subsequent Marriage" indicating the family name which the child shall bear by virtue of the legitimation also giving reference to the entry number in the Registrar of Legal Instruments.

When the interested party requests a copy of the birth certificate of a legitimated child a certified copy of the certificate of Live Birth bearing the annotation "Legitimated by Subsequent Marriage on ________ (date of marriage) at __________ (place of marriage)" or a certified transcription using standard form from the Register of Births bearing the effects of legitimation and the same annotation indicated in the certified true copy shall be issued. (Rule 66, A.O. No. 1 S. 1993)

How does legitimation take place?

Legitimation shall take place by a subsequent valid marriage between parents. The annulment of a voidable marriage shall not affect the legitimation (Art. 178, Family Code of the Philippines).

 

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