Should illegitimate children take the surname of their dad or mom?

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Find out what real parents think and what the current Philippine law states about illegitimate children seeking to take the name of their fathers, here.

When a child is born to unwed parents, should he or she take the surname of his or her dad or mom?

Here's what real parents had to say on the matter.

"It's the discretion of the parents. Kasi kahit hindi kasal kung may acknowledgement ng tatay, pwedeng dalhin ang apelyido niya," shared Tin L on ParentTown.

"In my case, ginamit yung surname ng daddy nya kasi hindi pa kami kasal," shared another user, who chose to remain anonymous. "After namin ikasal nilakad nalang sa munisipyo para maging legitimate si baby."

"If the baby is born before the parents get married, pwede naman gamitin ang last name ng father pero illegitimate child siya. If the parents decide to get married someday, the father needs to 'adopt' the child," wrote Emerald L.

But what does the Philippine Law state?

According to law, a child is entitled to take the surname of his biological father, even if his father is not married to his mother.

"Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support..."

photo: dreamstime

According to Article 176 of R.A. 9255:

"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. However, illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their (relationship) has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. Provided, the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child."

But due to amendments implemented in March of 2004, however, those born to unwed parents will need to have an affidavit of paternity or written proof that his dad allows his child to legally use his surname.

Aside from his father's written consent, a child born illegitimately also needs to prove his mother or legal guardian also agrees to this.

The law states that those aged 7 to 17 are allowed to decide if they would like to use their father's surname, but since they are still minors they will need consenting adults and a court to grant them this request.

However, once they reach the age of 18, they can freely decide which surname to use, even without their parent's consent.

READ: How to legitimize an illegitimate child after marriage

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