A child born out of wedlock is an illegitimate child. Under the law, such children shall carry their mother’s last name on their birth certificates unless their father provides his consent to let the child use his last name. In cases when the parents of an illegitimate child decide to marry later on, the child’s status is effectively changed to “legitimate”. And as a legitimzied child, he or she is given the same entitlements as that of a legitimate child, retroacting to the time of the child’s birth. This includes the child’s right to use her father’s surname.
So how come “legitimized” children, who have been using their father’s last name since after their parents got married (after their birth), are still required to execute an AUSF (Affidavit to Use Surname of Father) if they want to use their father’s last name on their passports? (Otherwise, their passports shall bear the last name of the mother as if their birth right is still illegitimate).
When a child is “legitimized”, certain procedures must be undertaken in order to apply the child’s father’s last name on the child’s birth certificate. Unless the necessary amendments and attachments have been officially applied on the child’s birth certificate, her right to use her father’s last name may still be questioned.
When applying for a passport, the DFA requires a copy of the applicant’s PSA Birth Certificate. This shall be their basis for the person’s information, including and most especially, the person’s name. If the birth certificate is not supported by documents attesting to the fact that the person has been “legitimized”, he or she may not be able to use the father’s last name on his passport.
If you were legitimized (due to subsequent marriage of your parents), you need to accomplish the following in relation to your use of your father’s last name:
a. Visit the office of the Local Civil Registrar where your birth was registered and secure the following documents:
- Affidavit of Paternity/Acknowledgment (certified photocopy)
- Joint Affidavit of Legitimation
- Certification of Registration of Legal Instrument (Affidavit of Legitimation)
- Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate with remarks/annotation based on the legitimation by subsequent marriage.
b. Verify that the birth certificate (of the legitimated child) and the marriage contract of the parents have been certified by the PSA. If not, secure it from the city or municipal Civil Registrar’s Office where the child was registered and where the parents were married.
When applying for a passport and you would like to use your father’s last name:
- Bring a copy of your PSA Birth Certificate.
- Check to make sure that your copy includes an annotation regarding your new status as legitimated.
- If the legitimized child is still a minor, the mother must be present during the passport application.
- If the mother is abroad, the person accompanying the child (including the father), must be able to execute the following:
- Affidavit of Support and Consent
- Special Power of Attorney authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in the country where the mother resides.
A legitimized child may use her father’s last name on her passport provided her PSA Birth Certificate bears the necessary annotations regarding her legitimation and documented proof that the father has allowed the child to use his last name (AUSF, Affidavit of Support and Consent).