Chapter 2. Natural Persons (Title I, Book III, Civil Code)

Article 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article.


1) Definition.

a. Natural persons – refer to individuals or human beings.

2) Birth is what determines legal personality. For natural persons, juridical capacity is inherent because it is a function of being born alive. Simplified, that moment when newly born babies are born alive, they have juridical capacity.

3) Notwithstanding the immediately preceding paragraph, a conceived child is already considered born “for all purposes that are favorable to it” subject to it being born and to the law on fetus under Article 41. This gains relevance in succession cases where a fetus or a newly-born baby receives inheritance even if it were to die a few hours later. This will produce a different set of legal effects as to who will then inherit after the death.

Article 41. For civil purposes, the foetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's womb. However, if the foetus had an intra-uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb.


1) Law on fetus; For civil purposes. General rule: The fetus is considered born “if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's womb.”


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