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An Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father is a document that is used in order for an illegitimate child to use the father's surname.
An illegitimate child is one whose parents are not married. Under the Family Code, an illegitimate child shall use their mother's surname however, they may use their father's surname if their relationship has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth, such as the Certificate of Live Birth, or when an admission has been made in a public document, such as an Affidavit of Admission of Paternity, or a Private Handwritten Instrument.
An Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father can be executed by the child's mother or, in the absence of the child's mother, the child's guardian, or the child himself or herself. It would depend on the age of the child:
- if the child is 0-6 years old, then this affidavit should be executed by the mother or, in the absence of the child's mother, the child's guardian;
- if the child is 7-17 years old, then this affidavit should be executed by the child provided that they are fully aware of the consequence of this affidavit (that they will use the surname of their father and that the same will be reflected in their birth certificate) as attested by the mother or guardian;
- if the child is 18 years old and above, then the affidavit should be executed by the child. In this case, there is no need for the attestation.
Take note that the child may only use the father's name if they have been expressly recognized.
How to use this document
The user should enter all the information required to complete the document. Once completed, the mother, the child's guardian, or the child should review the document. If the information in the document is correct, the mother, the child's guardian, or the child should print the document and bring the same to a notary public. Because this document is an affidavit, should only be signed in front of a notary public after swearing an oath to the truth of the information contained in the affidavit.
Once notarized, the document should be registered as follows:
Local Civil Registry Office at the place of birth - if the document is executed in the Philippines and the child's birth occurred in the Philippines.
Philippine Foreign Service Post - if the document was executed outside the Philippines. The Philippine Foreign Service Post should be the one in the country of residence of the person executing this affidavit or, if there is none, in the Philippine Foreign Service Post of the country nearest the place of residence of the person executing this affidavit. A Philippine Foreign Service for the purpose of registering this document refers to Philippine embassies and consulates general.
Local Civil Registry Office at the place of execution - if the document was executed in the Philippines but the child's birth occurred outside the Philippines.
The document should be registered within 20 days from the date of execution.
The Family Code of the Philippines, specifically Article 176, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, is applicable. The Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9255 provides the proper procedure for executing and registering the Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father.
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