• According to the Law: Legitimizing a Child After Marriage

    Our legal expert discusses what documents are required to change a child's status
    by Atty. Nikki Jimeno .
  • hands with ring

    Photo from mamaslatinas.com

    Q:
    Dear Smart Parenting,
     
    When I gave birth to my son, my boyfriend and I were not in good terms so I left the father's name blank in the birth certificate. Now my boyfriend and I are back together and we have plans of getting married. Our son is already 3 years of age. What should I do so that his father’s name could be included in the document? Will my son be legitimized after his dad and I get married?

    Sincerely,
    Back for good

    A:
    Dear Back for good,

    The good news is that your son can be legitimated once you and your boyfriend get married, without having to go to court.  

    The law provides that children conceived and born outside of wedlock to parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be legitimated. An example of a disqualification is if one or both of you were already married to somebody else at that time. This means that as long as you and your boyfriend were not disqualified to marry each other when you got pregnant, then your son may become legitimated. Legitimated children shall enjoy all the same rights and benefits that legitimate children have, and the effects of the legitimation retroact to the date of birth.  

    After you are married to your boyfriend (the child’s father), then you can already process your son’s legitimation. According to the National Statistics Office, the parents of the child to be legitimated must take the following steps:

    1. First, both parents must execute an Affidavit of Legitimation containing the following information:

       a. the names of the parents;

       b. the fact that at the time when child was conceived, the aforesaid parents were free to contract marriage, and that they subsequently contracted marriage;

       c. the date and place when such marriage was solemnized;

       d. the name of the officer who officiated the marriage;

       e. the city or municipality where such marriage was recorded;

       f. the name of the child to be legitimated, and the other facts of birth;

       g. the date and place where the birth of the child was registered; and

       h. the manner by which the child was acknowledged by the parents which may be in the child’s record of birth, in a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing / document.

    2. Next, the Affidavit of Legitimation must be registered in the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where the birth was recorded.

    After the Affidavit of Legitimation is recorded in the local civil registrar, the fact of the legitimation will be annotated on your child’s birth certificate. The original family name of your son won’t be deleted, but the birth certificate will be marked with “Legitimated by Subsequent Marriage on (date of marriage) at (place of marriage)”, and it will also indicate your husband’s surname, which the child may now use. The local civil registrar should be able to give you a timeline when you may be able to claim a certified true copy of the updated birth certificate.

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    Atty. Nikki Jimeno

    Got legal questions? Email us at webmaster@smartparenting.com.ph

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