Illegitimate child may now 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 a 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.

27 Responses to “Illegitimate child may now use father’s surname”

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  1. 15 daphne88 Feb 27th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    dear atty,
    i wanted really to be clarified for all the fears and doubts to wether to pursue my filing of case to my husband who is now living with his new found woman.
    We were separated before for almost a year,and dont even know his whereabouts,he used to abandon me and my son ,i dont know where to go,when my son got sick (pneumonia/Urticaria) i was force to have a relation with this man whom always there with us all the time,(he knows my husband ) for he give us support,so with my son in the hospital.
    To make the story short, i had pregnant with this man (not my husbAnd) twice…and the kids were grown up now.
    .So here comes my husband sending me emails and messages but i am hiding what had happened to me the time he left.But God really find ways for us to meet, my father died so he went home,i hide my baby in my aunts place and my 2nd pregnancy is still (unnoticeably)5 months that time,at night when we talked what had happen to him….until i reveal him on what had happe to me
    Well, at first maybe of confusion he cant talk and just silent…but he told me to be with him where he is working to start a new life……..i was thankful then for he still accept me and my baby,(the true father of my kids doesnt allow me to bring the kids but i need to bring them for them to have a good future)and he understand.
    Now months passed i give birth to the third child (not his)
    he is very happy as if he was the real father, my daughter had pneumonia case and i was ceasarean, he of course in all the doc. me and my daughter where his surname……now years passed he suggested to have a christening of both my 2nd and the 3rd in his surname,and in fact he used to include them in his SSS,Philhealth,Witholding tax,as if really he was the father of the two.
    Now, the christening was done, were happy until changes strike abruptly,he was totally different,in fact his girlfriend sending me message which is humiliating, (she knows my secret of the two kids,I wonder why/of course my husband told her) ,he had no time with us,unlike befor we went to church every Sunday,roaming the kids around in his car but now,he change, he used to hurt me,matreat me and everything that a woman cannot endure.I told him, i told you everything,yet now,you treat me this way? So i left him Atty, for i cant endure anymore the kind of relationship we are now haaving.
    He used to send me money (1,500) every 15th before but now no more…he even treat me that he will file adultery against me.
    my question is..
    1. can i ask support from him for my three kids(2 of them were not his but in his surname)
    2. or only for my first child?
    3. He give his surname to this two kids of mine voluntarily, in fact they are included in all his beneficiaries,can that be grounds for me for adultery?
    4. if ever i will file him RA 9262,will am i be endangerif he will counterfile adultery?
    Pls….I need your help…coz we are starving, i need to fight my kids right?would there be/ (the two)

    Your the only hope, ive got..


  2. 14 vice_nobleza Feb 21st, 2011 at 5:33 am

    dear atty.
    gusto ko lang po magtanong ksi po gamit ko po yung surname ng father ko at sa birthcertificate ko po ay kasal po sila ng mother ko kso po hindi po pla nkaregister sa nso at city registry yung kasal nila kasal po pla ang faher ko sa iba atty. gusto ko po kasi gamitin yung surname ng mother ko icourt pa daw po yun tanggap ko namn po illegitimate ako kaso mas gusto ko po gamitin na lang ang surname ng mother ko ano po gagawin ko atty salamat po.

  3. 13 lilsmoke999 Dec 21st, 2010 at 6:30 am


    Isa pa akong illegitimate child gusto ko lang mag tanong kung anong kaso ang pwd kung isampa sa father ko gusto ko siyang makulong tnx.

  4. 12 Danielle May 17th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Dear Atty.

    I need an advice regarding my daughter’s Birth Certificate. to make the story short.. when I was pregnant me and the father of my kid lost communication due to his work Abroad. and when I gave birth Feb. 2005, I registered my daughter w/o the name of the father in her birth cert. and after 5 yrs. He came back for good….and good thing I’m not in a relationship and not even Married yet. cuz too busy being a working single mom. and we are getting married this July 2010.

    My question is how can we Include his name on my daughter’s Birth Certificate? what do we need to do? Please HELP!

    waiting for your response.

    Best Regards,
    Danielle =)

  5. 11 agony May 14th, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Dear Attorney,

    Good morning. I would like to seek advice from you regarding this matter to answer my questions that bothered me most. Hope you could help me with this matter.

    Here’s my story. My husbands infidelity causes me much pain. Its not just once that happened in our relationship but past is past and his other girls did not bother us anymore. We’ve been together for 11years(bf-gf to marriage). Our relationship has ups and downs. We already have two kids.
    Now, recently i caught him again cheating on me. I already knew the girl. All her details and infos about her and her relationship with my husband. She knew that she’s having a relationship with a married man but she continue having an affair with my husband. I texted her when i caught her texting my husband and then i knew that she is pregnant that time..5 mos?
    I remained silent. I waited for the childs birth. its a baby boy.. i gathered again infos about it.. eventough it really hurts me a lot. a friend of mine told me the name of the child and the surname that the baby’s using still his mother. there is no name of father and even a signature that acknowldeges the baby..
    i heard that the mother is claiming for a childs support?is it really possible?what is her evidence or proof that she can be granted of her claim?does she have right?shes’s saying that if my husband did not support she will complain, demand and file a case against my husband..what case can she file?
    my husband andi talk about it and he honestly told me that he heard about it but he said why he will support the child if im not the father?she must prove can that girl prove it?please help…
    here is my email add :
    il wait for your response attorney…thank you very much! hope you could help me a lot… GOD BLESS… tc! :)

  6. 10 patatas Apr 6th, 2010 at 9:52 am

    aside po sana sa adoption thanks

  7. 9 patatas Apr 6th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    good day sir

    ganun din po halos ang problem ko tulad kay ms zeph unknown yun name ng father sa birth cert. pregnant pa lang ako nawala na yun totoong father nya nakapag asawa po ulit ako pero di pa kami kasal sya na ang kinikilalang daddy ng anak ko 5 yrs old na yun anak ko at grade 1 na this school yr,gusto sana namin gamitin ng anak ko yun surname ng asawa ko ngayon para maayos na yun school records at di na rin magtatanong yun anak ko kasi iba ang surname nya sa 2 ko pang anak at ayaw na namin malaman nya yun totoo balang araw pano po ba ang gagawin yun hindi po sana gagastos ng malaki ;p thank you very much

  8. 8 Zeph Mar 30th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    In addition to my previous post. I was told by the midwife who assisted when I gave birth and who worked to register my baby’s birth certificate, my baby cannot use her father’s name without his approval and he must sign the affidavit of acknowledgment/admission of paternity at the back of the birth certificate if my child will use the father’s name, same as in putting the father’s name in birth certificate.
    Is this true? Is there any way for my child to use her father’s surname and indicate his name as the father in birth certificate instead of “unknown”, even without the father’s approval?

  9. 7 Zeph Mar 30th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Dear Sir,

    My question is same as with Meanne. Is it possible to use the father’s name without his acknowledgment or admission of paternity? He refused to sign on birth certificate and I had no choice but to leave the father’s name “unknown”.
    Is there any chance that he can get child custody? I wasn’t married to my child’s father.

    Hope to hear from you. Thanks.


  10. 6 meanne Mar 30th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Dear Sir,

    i want to know po if my baby can carry his father’s surname eventhough he didn’t sign the birth registration from the hospital? he keep insisting that its better not for him to put his name on the birth certificate but i badly want my baby to carry hs surname for its a big shame on my side…now my baby is two months old and until now didn’t went back to the hosptal also to sign our baby’s certificate, so till now our baby is not registered pa rin…what should i do po? im confused…please help.

    thanks and God bless


  11. 5 banjo Mar 30th, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Dear Attys:

    May I ask for legal opinion regarding changing of surname of my son.

    We registered his name using my ex-partner’s surname. We are not married, and he refuses to provide the needs of my son. Is it possible to delete the father’s surname and change it to my surname?

    I hope to hear for any legal advise. Thank you.

    all the best,


  12. 4 Emmanuel Feb 17th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Dear Attys:


    May I request for a legal opinion on an urgent matter which I am detailing below.

    I have a daughter, age 25 and single, who gave birth to a son on February 13, 2010 at the Makati Medical Center, Makati City. The father, age 20 and single, admitted paternity of the child by affixing his signature on the back page of the Certificate of Live Birth (CLOB). To date, however, my grandson remains unregistered with the Civil Registry Office of Makati City because of the lingering question of whether using her surname or maiden name (LOPEZ-DEE) for her son is legally binding or not.

    Republic Act 9255, among others, state that “…illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father…”. The operative word used in the law is “MAY” and not “SHALL” such that my own personal interpretation as a non-lawyer is that the mother has the option to forego exercising that right and instead use her surname for the child.

    Item No. 1 of Paragraph A of Chapter 3 (Procedures in Processing of Documents) of the Manual of Instructions for the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) also states, among others, that “The applicant shall accomplish four (4) copies of CLOB bearing the surname of the father.” The operative word used in this paragraph is “SHALL”. Again, my own personal interpretation of this particularly direction is that it merely gives an instruction on what to do if the surname of the father is to be used for the child. Furthermore, should not the IRR and the Manual be interpreted in harmony with and not contrary to the spirit of RA 9255 and the Family Code of the Philippines? If a wed mother has the option to use her maiden name or surname of her husband, what more in the case of a child born out of wedlock. Following this logic, can my unwed daughter then not use her maiden name as the surname of her child?

    Hoping for your immediate feedback.

    Thanks and regards.


  13. 3 Jking Jan 11th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Hi attorneys…sorry but im not good in english…im good in filipino and spansih…so il just tell it to filipino

    ganito po kasi yun…

    kasi ganito po yun yung wife ko po, may anak na po pero sa ibang lalaki …so posible po ba napalitan ang surname?

  14. 2 glens Mar 17th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Attorneys,

    Just a query, regarding RA 9255. Can a father file AUSF w/o consent of the mother?

    It was my brother’s case wherein the child at 7 mos. old was left out by her mother to his care. The obligation of child rearing, food and shelter was provided by the father alone. The family of the mother (lola) sometimes took a visit to the child and picks her up once or twice a month. And it was only when the child turned a year and so that the mother showed up when she left her child for another man. And then an agreement comes up between my brother and the mother of the child in the local gov’t (barangay) on the days where the child should stay.

    The mother and father of the child, both have their own family. My brother asked for the mother to allow him to use his surname but the mother refused and do not want to cooperate at a very indifferent attitude.

    On this particular case, what should the father do to have his child’s surname changed to his w/out mother’s consent? It was him who really took care of the child.
    The child was born Dec. 2003.

    You’re advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,


  1. 1 Philippine e-Legal Forum » Blog Archive » What’s in a name? Change of name without going to court Pingback on Sep 22nd, 2006 at 1:31 am

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