Illegitimate child may use father’s surname

An illegitimate child (born outside of a valid wedlock), prior to the enactment of the new law, may only use the surname of the mother and, regardless of any circumstances, is prohibited from using the father’s surname (Article 176 of the Family Code). This provision, however, was subsequently amended.

Illegitimate children can now use their father’s surname. Republic Act No. 9255, also known as “An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children to Use the Surname of their Father”, intends to remove (or diminish) the shame and stigma which accompanies illegitimacy. Do not confuse R.A. 9255 with R.A. 9225, which relates to dual citizenship (click here). The benefit applies to everyone, whether born before or after the effectivity of the law, and includes registered and unregistered births.

The new law took effect on March 19, 2004 – which was less than year after the Supreme Court upheld the denial of an illegitimate child’s request to use the surname of her father. In that 2003 case, the Supreme Court applied the old law (Article 176 of the Family Code), noting that where there’s no right, there is no remedy. By the way, the original Article 176 reads:

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. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child.

For the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9255, click here. For the guidelines/procedure on the new law, please proceed to the great site of the National Statistics Office (NSO). Click here or here.

Comments (82)

  1. Sy

    atty,question ko po what if yung father ko is nag adopt ng bata na 19 yrs old na anak ng kanyang mistress sa ibang guy,pwede ba yung 19 yrs old ay gumamit ng apelyedo namin though his not from his blood?may legality ba yung adoption nya po?may nakapagsabi sa amin n legalized na daw yung adoption at may record na s NSO na gamit ng bata yung apelyedo namen,pwede ba yun?separate yung parents ko ng mga 20 years,but not legally separated and they wed in civil and 1983 and my father’s second marriage for another woman was in1990,pro hinde pa separate noon yung mom ko at papa ko.May legality ba yung 2nd marriage?And if so,may rights then ba sila sa kung anong mayroon ang papa ko?pls.enlightened me this attorney..

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  2. Yang

    Magandang Hapon po Atty,

    Ako po ay naging single mom, at nagkaroon na po ako ng commitment ngayon. Itanong ko lang po sana Atty. kung pwedi po bang ma transfer ang apelyido ng unang anak ko sa bago kong kasama ngayon kahit hindi pa kami kasal? Kaapelyido ko po yung bata… Salamat po!

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