Q. Good Day Atty.! I would like to seek your legal advice regarding a friend of mine who was born out of wedlock. She was born on November 1, 1986. Her parents were married on June 11, 1998.
Unfortunately, in her birth certificate, she carried her father’s name already. Worse is that in her birth certificate, in the parents date and place of marriage (item 12) it was filled in “January 4, 1984 Cebu City”. We think it was totally a false entry of marriage.
Please help us what should be done. Do we need to file a petition to the court? What should be the title of the petition? Or how should we go about it? Hoping for your response. Thank you so much! Sincerely, Jean
ANS: Hello Ms Jean! What is the crucial in this situation is the validity and effectivity of marriage that took place on June 11,1998. Kindly note that the validity of marriage does not hinges on its registration with the office of the Civil Registrar.
Considering that at the time when your friend was born on November 1,1986, the parents were not yet married, your friend is considered as an “illegitimate” child. The fact that she used her father’s surname is of no moment.
At the time of birth, the Family Code was not yet effective, the used the surname of the father of an illegitimate child was governed by the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines, there was no expressed prohibition against the use of the surname of the biological father of an illegitimate child.
In fact, the use of the surname of the father is an indication that the illegitimate child, could be considered as a natural child by legal fiction under the Civil Code of the Philippines, as the parents although not married, and have no legal impediments to marry each other at the time of birth of the child.
The fact that the parents of the child got married thereafter supports the above observation. And such subsequent marriage, by the process of legitimation makes the child legitimate retroactive from her birth. In order to reflect the status of the child due to the legitimation process, there is no need to go court. Instead they can make the necessary representations with the Civil Registrar and comply with the documentary requirements for the said purpose for annotation and recording purposes.
As regards to the so called “false entry” in the child’s birth certificate where the parent’s date and place of marriage was erroneous written as”January 4,1984”, this could be corrected in two ways. Where the assessment and findings show that in relation to the birth certificate of the child, the marriage contract of the parents, among others, will clearly establish the correct date and place of the celebration of such marriage, contrary to what is reflected as “January 4,1984 ” being purely clerical or typographical errors, then under and pursuant to Republic Act No. 9048, as amended by Republic Act No.10172, there is no need for the concerned party to go to court for the said purpose. However, if the error is so material and that its correction could not be considered as clerical or typographical by nature, then a petition in court may be filed for the correction of entries in the birth of records of the said person.
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