Rights of illegitimate Child

Q. As a single parent I left my 15-year old son in the Philippines. I was not married with my son’s father as he had a family. His father comes from a family with modest fortune. He has a thriving business in the Philippines.

I want my son to carry the family name of his father despite of his being an illegitimate child. Can I do this? What is my son’s right in relation to his father? Please advice. Thank you and more power! VV

Ans. Under the law, an illegitimate child during his/her minority is entitled to certain rights from both parent(s) (mother and father), including the right to be supported financially in order to meet the needs of the child, such as food, clothing, health, shelter and education, among others.

The recent law which was passed in 2004 otherwise known as R.A. No.9255 , also provides that an illegitimate child may use the surname of the father provided the father gives his consent in writing and under oath.

Kindly take notice that prior to the passage of the RA 9255, an illegitimate can only use the surname of the mother. With this law which amended portion of Art.176 of the Family Code, an illegitimate may now use the surname of the father for as long as his consent in writing was made under oath .

Furthermore under Article 176 of the Family Code, an illegitimate child is entitled to inherit from the deceased parent(s), as a compulsory heir. The inheritance or legitime of each illegitimate child consist of ½ of the legitime of the legitimate child.

However, to be entitled to inherit from the estate of the father (Parents), the illegitimate child should be able to establish his/her filiations with the father, through any of the following :

a) The record of birth appearing in the civil register; or
b) Admission or recognition by the father of the illegitimate as his child. This could be done by an affidavit executed by the father or any private handwritten documents signed by the parents concerned.
In the event that the father of the illegitimate son, refuses or does not recognize the child as his son/daughter, the remedy of the illegitimate child is to file an action for recognition in the Family Court.

This action may be brought by the child during his or her lifetime and this right shall be transmitted to the heirs of the illegitimate child, should he or she dies during his/her minority or will be in a state of insanity.

In this case, the heirs of the illegitimate child shall have a period of five(5) years within which to institute the action. ( Art. 172 in relation to Art. 173 of the Family Code.)

Provided further if the basis of the action for recognition is based on a written instrument signed by the father of the illegitimate child, the action for recognition by the child must the brought to the court during the lifetime of the alleged father only.

Looking forward you’ll find the above in order. Thank you for writing .

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