We are Not Married, What Surname Should Our Child Use?

Sa mga hindi pa kasal na mommies, alamin kung anong surname dapat ni baby 🤔

Image Credit: Unsplash/Obed Esquivel 

One of the things parents have to deal with after the highs of child-birth is dealing with the process of securing their child’s birth certificate. And while this might be straightforward for babies born to married parents, it can be a bit more complicated with kids born out of wedlock or single parents.

If you are an unwedded mother and clueless about which surname your child will use, here are some things you need to know.

I just gave birth and I’m not married to my baby’s father, what surname should I put on my child’s birth certificate?

All babies born out of wedlock or to unmarried parents are considered illegitimate. And illegitimate babies born on March 19, 2004 onwards, will use their mother’s surname in the Certificate of Live Birth (COLB), while the middle name will be left blank.

We are not yet married but my baby’s father acknowledges him, can he then use his father’s surname?

Illegitimate babies born on March 19, 2004 onwards can use their fathers’ surnames if the father submits an Affidavit of Acknowledgement or Admission of Paternity. But without the Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF), the child cannot use the father’s surname. So the process of registering will depend on whether the AUSF was executed or not.

If the child is not yet registered, the parents can do the following:

  • Go to the City or Municipal Civil Registrar where the child is born
  • The father will either:
    • Sign the Affidavit of Admission of Paternity (AAP) at the back of the child’s Certificate of Live Birth
    • Present as separate AUSF or Private Handwritten Instrument (PHI) acknowledging that he is the child’s father
  • Submit 4 copies of the AUSF

If done, the child’s birth certificate will reflect the father’s surname as his last name and the mother’s surname as his middle name.

My child is registered under my (mother’s) surname, but his father now acknowledges him and wants him to use his (father’s) surname. What should we do?

If the child was born and registered without the acknowledgement of his father, he can still use his father’s surname if you do the following:

  • Go to the City or Municipal Civil Registrar where the child is born
  • Submit 4 copies of AAP or PHI along with other supporting documents

If done, the child’s surname in his COLB will not be corrected or changed but will be annotated to reflect the father’s surname. This will be done on the Remarks/Annotation part of the COLB.

My child was born before 2004, does this apply to my child?

The following applies to kids born on or after August 3, 1988, but before March 18, 2004:

  • The child will use the mother’s surname
  • The father’s name may be indicated in the child’s birth certificate if he executes and provides an Affidavit of Admission of Paternity (AAP)
  • The child will still use the mother’s surname even if the father acknowledges the child or provides an AAP
  • The AAP will be permanently attached to the child’s birth certificate

On the other hand, the following rules apply for kids born before August 3, 1988:

  • The child can use the father’s surname if both parents acknowledge him
  • If only one parent acknowledges the child, then the child will use the surname of said parent
  • The name/s of the acknowledging parent/s shall be reflected in the COLB

References: PSA, Filipiknow

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