Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HOW TO CHANGE THE SURNAME OF A LEGITIMATED CHILD

Surname Of A Legitimated Child
HOW TO CHANGE THE SURNAME OF A LEGITIMATED CHILD

A legitimated child is a child conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other (Article 177, New Civil Code of the Philippines).

In simple terms, a legitimated child is one conceived and born to parents who can validly marry each other but do not opt to do so. Thus at birth, the child is considered illegitimate. Said status, however, completely changes upon the subsequent marriage of the parents.

Since at the onset, the child is illegitimate, the Family Code then mandates the use of his mother’s surname. Republic Act 9255, however, now allows an illegitimate child to use his father’s surname under certain conditions.

With respect to a legitimated child still carrying the surname of his mother, a problem arises on how he can use his father’s surname.

For instance, a child was born sometime in 2003 before the marriage of his parents in 2004. In his birth certificate, he used his mother’s surname. After said marriage in 2004, the child acquired a legitimated status. What then must his parents do in order for him to be allowed to use his father’s surname?
Steps in Changing the Surname of a Legitimated Child

The Philippine National Statistics Office provides a solution to above problem. According to said office, the following are the steps to be taken by the parents:

1. First, both parents must execute an Affidavit of Legitimation containing the following facts (www.census.gov.ph):

1.1 the names of the parents;

1.2 that at the time when child was conceived, the aforesaid parents could have contracted marriage, and that they subsequently contracted marriage;

1.3 the date and place when such marriage was solemnized;

1.4 the name of the officer who officiated the marriage;

1.5 the city or municipality where such marriage was recorded;

1.6 the name of the child to be legitimated, and the other facts of birth;

1.7 the date and place where the birth of the child was registered ; and

1.8 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—the effectivity of the Family Code).

2. Second, above affidavit must be registered in the civil registry office of the place where the birth was recorded.

The NSO further explains that the registration of said affidavit has the following effects:
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)

Indeed, it is easy to affix the father’s surname in the name of a legitimated child. After all, his status is equal to a legitimate child in the eyes of the law.

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