Law granting illegitimate children the right to be legitimated took effect in 2009
" I have read your article last May 15, 2012 and the situation of the letter-sender is somewhat similar to that of my niece. She was born in 2000 and she has been using my sisters surname. My sister and brother-in-law were 17 years old at the time she was born, but they got married in 2002. Right after their marriage, my sister inquired with the local civil registrar regarding the possible means of having my niece legitimated. The chief registrar told her that they must go through court proceedings in order for her daughter to be able to use her husbands surname. We would just like to know if there is any other possible way to handle this concern. They are truly desirous of processing the legitimation of my niece so that all her papers, including her school records, will reflect her fathers surname. I hope you can enlighten us. Thank you and more power to you and your office. Mabelle
Dear Mabelle, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9858, which was approved on December 20, 2009, grants illegitimate children the right to be legitimated, provided that at the time they were conceived and born, their parents were not disqualified by any legal impediment to marry each other, or if they were so disqualified, it is only in view of the fact that either or both of them were below eighteen (18) years of age at the time (Section 1, id).
In the situation you mentioned, we can surmise that such was the advice given by the chief registrar to your sister because R.A. No. 9858 was not yet in effect back then. Since your sister and her husband did not pursue the application for legitimation of their daughter at the time, they may opt to process it now in view of the fact that the rules provided for under said law have retroactive effect for all births occurring within or outside the Philippines after the effectivity of the Family Code (Rule 10, Implementing Rules and Regulations, R.A. No. 9858). Considering that the Family Code took effect on August 31, 1988 and your niece was born in 2000, she may enjoy the benefits and the rights granted under R.A. No. 9858. Accordingly, your sister and her husband must execute an affidavit of legitimation stating: (1) their names and places of residence (2) date and place of solemnization of their marriage (3) name of the officer who officiated their marriage (4) name of their child to be legitimated (5) date and place of their childs birth (6) that at the time their child was conceived, they have no impediment to marry each other, except on account of their age and (7) that they entered into a valid marriage and that by virtue thereof, their child is legitimated.
Should they execute the affidavit in the Philippines, either or both of them, must apply for the registration thereof within thirty days from the date of its execution at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) of the place where their daughter was born. If the affidavit was executed outside the Philippines, the same must be authenticated in the Philippine Consulate General or Embassy which has jurisdiction over the place of residence of either your sister or brother-in-law and must be submitted to the civil registry of Manila. They must attach to the affidavit the following documents: (a) Certified true copy of the Certificate of Live Birth of their daughter (b) Certified true copy of their Certificate of Marriage and (c) their Certificate of No Marriage. In case of death of either parents, the death certificate must be attached. If either of them is presumed dead, the court order of presumptive death must likewise be attached. If the local civil registrar determines that their daughter is qualified for legitimation and that they have submitted all necessary documentary requirements, an order for the registration of your nieces legitimation shall be issued.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.
Editors note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorneys Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com"
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"Law granting illegitimate children the right to be legitimated took effect in 2009"
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and updated on 15 September 2021