Q: "When I gave birth to my first daughter a few years back, it was not allowed for children who are born out of wedlock to use their mother’s middle name, and I was not in touch with her father to give an acknowledgment, so we left it at that. Then, a few months ago I had another child born out of wedlock, but this time, the hospital where I gave birth allowed my daughter to use my middle name. When my eldest learned about this she became sad and would ask me why her baby sister has a middle name and she doesn’t. Can I have her birth certificate amended? It has been so hard for me to deal with her questions." - Jeni
A: What’s in a name?
It is everything because it identifies us as persons. Thus, our laws ensure that a child born out of wedlock is not deprived of her identity upon birth by providing the following:
Article 176 of the Family Code provides that the surname of a child born outside wedlock is that of the mother. The child whose surname is that of the mother cannot have the mother’s middle name as well. That would make them siblings.
Article 177 as amended under Republic Act 9858 provides for the legitimation of children born outside of wedlock to minor parents at the time of the child’s birth but who subsequently marry;
RA 9255 which allows illegitimate children to use the surname of the father provided the latter signs off on the birth certificate of the child, makes a public declaration of paternity or acknowledgment, or signs an Authority to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF).
Article 185 of the Family Code which provides that either the husband or the wife may adopt his/her own illegitimate child. In this case, the child takes on the name of the adoptive parents.
Click here to learn more about single parents' options on what middle name to give their child born out of wedlock.