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.


  1. Hi Atty.,

    I just gave birth to my baby boy two months ago. His dad is an american and we broke up before i gave birth so he didn’t acknowledge his son as his own. So i used my surname for the registration. But due to the lack of awareness about this laws i was able to write my middle name for my son. Is that ok? Do I have to change it? If I want my child to use his dad’s last name would that be possible after registration? Since his dad is an american can my son be be considered a dual citizen? If not how can he be? My son will be baptize last week of may and is it ok if I use the lastname of his dad in the baptismal certificate since I am planning to change his last name? Please do reply in my email.

  2. can an out of wedlock child that uses the father’s surname can claim a 50% support from his said fathers’ salary?

  3. hi atty…

    hello atty this is Tim im 22 years old now… im a illegitimate child i been looking for my father years now but now i did find him and i just wanna know if what is the 1st step that i should do cos my father wanted me to use his last name… and i dont really know what to do it will be a really great help if you could reply to my email thank you

  4. Hi Atty! I have a 2 son which both illegitimate child and both of them is using my surname for how many years since birth. There father acknowledge our eldest son only without asking my consent. Now Im having a problem bcos they both studying in the same grade school. And both of them now using different surname. What I have to do to consider again to use my surname by my eldest son? I hope u can help me! Thanks…

  5. Hi Atty.,

    I have daughter from a Japanese guy and were not married. I gave birth here in the Philippines last March 13, 2007 and he acknowledge or signed the birth certificate of our child as a father. But he never give support for our child since then on. I would like to seek help how or what to do to get the right for my daughter.
    I’m looking forwards to your assistance and highly appreciated it.
    Thank you and have a good day!

  6. may dalawa po akong anak don po sila sa ama nila..pano ko po makukuha mga bata..dahil ayaw ko na po makisama sa tatay nila..hndi nman kmi kasal may karapatan po ba ako kunin sila.salamat po…

  7. Hi!Atty. I have two son’s born on 2001 and 2002 and they are using my surname because when they were born they wasn’t allow to use their father’s for we are not married then ..My to son are growing up and their being confuse of their middle name ,and so do I .I wanted them to use their father’s surname so that they wont be confuse at all and grow up with confidence.. will it be possible for me to do so,Since we are separated and his married to some one else and now living in the united states.What must I do to make it possible for them to use their father’s surname?i lost communication with the father a year ago,his wife does not allow me to talk to him at all,for I ask for the financial support to my two son.How can I also legally ask financial support for him?Pls. help…God Bless!!

  8. Sa Pinas po ako manganganak pero nasa Singapore po tatay ng baby ko. Ayaw po nya pagamit name nya. Di ko naman habol ang sustento pero gusto ko sana ilagay sa birth cert ang name ng tatay nya. Iniisip ko po papayag din sya later on. Question po hanggang ilang araw po ba dapat ifile ang birth cert? Kung di po makasign sa birth cert ano pa pong pwedeng isubmit na documento para magamit ng baby ko apelyido ng ama nya? Salamat po.

  9. good day !

    I used ” ROBILYN” since birth, pero nang kumuha ako nang birth cert. nag iba ang spelling “RUVELLIN” ang naka records… so ang ginawa nag file ako nang correction of first name…. by the year 2006 its granted ….ROBILYN na ang ginamit ngayon…..
    ako po ay illegitimate child , ang NSO birth cert. ko po ay may middle name..nang mother ko … surname nang mother ko ang ginamit ko ngayon . ok lang po ba na may middle name ako kahit illegitimate child ako? . ang middle name nayon ay middle nang mother ko tama po ba yon ? sa birth cert. ko unknown father ang nakalagay? gusto nang father ko gamitin ko ang surname niya ? pwede po ba? maari ko bang gamitin ang surname nang father ko paano?
    ano ang mga dapat kung gawin? ano ano ang mga requirement nito? ako po ay gulong gulo…. umaasa po ako na lahat nang mga tanong ko ay masagot ….. more power….

  10. Hi Atty,

    Single mom ako and ginagamit ngayon ng anak ko ang middle and last name ko. Kailangan ko pa po ba patanggal yung middle name sa birth certificate nya? Thanks!

    1. No need. An illegitimate child may carry the surname as well as the middle name of the biological mother.


  11. Atty,
    Good day! Yong tatay po ksi ng anak ko hindi na po nagsustento 2 mos na, andito po ako sa amerika ngaun, 2 months ago lang. tnong ko lang po paano ko po sya makasuhan? o puede ko po ba gawing grounds aNg hindi nya pagsustento para papalitan ko na po ng apelyido ang anak ko? hindi po kami kasal pero nagsama po kami 4 na tao, at acknowledge nya po ung bata at pati BC? what should i do?

  12. ako po ay may problema panbo po b magkakaroon ng national ang ank kosiya po ay born in kawasaki japan wla po syang national pumunta po ako s japan embasy ang sbi po kumuha daw po ng pasport tapos mag agentcy po ako wla nmn po akong perra pra ipalakad po patay n po ang kanyang papa s japan d nga po kmi nakapagkasal gawa po may skit po sya s puso at biglaan ang kanyang pagkamatay d po nmin naayos ang kanyang b cert ng bata sana po atty matuklungan po nyo ako pano ko magagawa ng national ang anak ko nsa akin po ang cert galing japan

  13. Good afternoon, atty.
    I would just like to ask for a professional advise. I’m a 27-year-old illegitimate daughter of a Japanese man and a Filipina woman. I was recognized by my father and was able to bear his surname. However, I just noticed that there was an error on my birth certificate wherein the citizenship of my father is stated as Filipino instead of Japanese. I was born in the Philippines but would like to acquire a dual citizenship (Filipino and Japanese). Is there any way I can have the entry on my birth certificate corrected? If yes, what are the steps that I need to take and the requirements I have to fulfill? I would like to add that my father’s whereupon is currently unknown to us since my parents separated when I was 13 and he stopped communicating with us from that time. I hope you can help me with this. I would greatly appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you very much.

  14. ahm mai baby po ako . naka apelyedo sa papa niya pero illegitimate child po . pag nagpakasal po kame ng papa niya ? can he be a legitimate child pag in.adopt po namen siya ? necessary po b na i.adopt namen ang sarili naming anak ?

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