Adopting an unrecognized illegitimate child
"I just want to know how I can change my daughter’s surname. She was born three years ago, when I was just 23 years old. I did not marry her father. In fact, he disappeared from my life the moment he learned I was pregnant with his child. It was hard being in my early twenties and not having any help from him, but I have learned to move on. Fortunately, I met another guy who accepted my past, including my daughter. He loves her as if she is his own child. We are getting married in a week and we have decided to change my daughter’s surname to his surname soon after our marriage ceremony as she follows my surname. We just want to avoid confusion as both my fiancé and I are from close-knit Filipino families. Is this possible? Please advise me.
Illegitimate children, as a rule, follow the surname of their mother. It is only when they have been lawfully recognized by their biological father that they are given the preference to use their father’s surname. This is in line with the provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9255 which explicitly states that:‘SECTION 1. Article 176 of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines, is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Article 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. However, illegitimate children may 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. x x x’ ”Considering that your minor child was born outside of a validly matrimonial union and neither was she recognized by her biological father, she necessarily must bear your surname.
However, you mentioned in your letter that you will soon be married to a man who has accepted your past and loves your daughter. You also mentioned that you both desire to seek to change your child’s surname to that of your soon-to-be-husband’s surname. Accordingly, after your marriage ceremony, you and your husband may opt to file a verified petition for adoption of said minor child in order that the latter’s status may be raised to that of legitimacy, provided you both possess the following qualifications: (1) being of legal age (2) in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights (3) of good moral character (4) have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude (5) who are emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children and (6) in a position to support and care for your child/children in keeping with the means of the family (Section 7, R.A. 8552).We wish to emphasize that your verified petition must specifically state at the heading of its initiatory pleading that the same contains an application for the change of name of the said child as well as the cause or reason for such change of name. Likewise, the petition must allege, among others, the first name, surname or names, age and residence of the adoptee-child as shown by her record of birth, baptismal or foundling certificate and school records and the first name, surname or names by which she is to be known and registered in the Civil Registry (Section 7, A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, Rule on Adoption). The court will hear your petition in accordance with process laid down under R. A. No. 8552 and A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, and may, in due course, grant your petition if the same will be for the best interest of your daughter.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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"Adopting an unrecognized illegitimate child"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
category. It has been read 13
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comments. The article was created on 14 September 2021
and updated on 14 September 2021