Paternity Filiation

1. Legitimate children

Concept: Legitimate children. Children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate.(Article 164, Ibid.)

Conceived or born during marriage. Children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate. (Ibid.)

Artificial insemination. Children conceived as a result of artificial insemination of the wife with the sperm of the husband or that of a donor or both are likewise legitimate children of the husband and his wife, provided, that both of them authorized or ratified such insemination in a written instrument executed and signed by them before the birth of the child. The instrument shall be recorded in the civil registry together with the birth certificate of the child. (Paragraph 2, Article 164, Ibid.)


Legitimate children shall have the right:
1) To bear the surnames of the father and the mother, in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code on Surnames;
2) To receive support from their parents, their ascendants, and in proper cases, their brothers and sisters, in conformity with the provisions of this Code on Support; and
3) To be entitled to the legitimate and other successional rights granted to them by the Civil Code. (Article 174, Ibid.)

2. Proof of filiation


Legitimate children. Primary proof. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:

1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or

2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. (Article 172, Ibid.)

Same; Secondary proof. In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:

(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or

(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. (Paragraph 2, Article 172, Ibid.)

Illegitimate children. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.(Article 175, Ibid.)


Who may file. The action to claim legitimacy may be brought by the child during his or her lifetime. (Article 173, Ibid.)

Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children. (Article 175, Ibid.)

In case of death. The action to claim legitimacy shall be transmitted to the heirs should the child die during minority or in a state of insanity. (Article 163, Ibid.)

The 5-year prescription for heirs; Legitimate children. The heirs shall have a period of five years within which to institute the action. (Ibid.)

Same; Illegitimate children. –

General Rule: The action must be brought within the same period specified in Article 173. (Paragraph 2, Article 175, Ibid.)
Exception: …except when the action is based on the second paragraph of Article 172, in which case the action may be brought during the lifetime of the alleged parent. (Paragraph 2, Article 175, Ibid.)

The problem of the private respondent, however, is that, since he seeks to prove his filiation under the second paragraph of Article 172 of the Family Code, his action is now barred because of his alleged father’s death in 1975. (Dorotea v. CA, G.R. No. 76873, 26 October 1989)

It is clear that the private respondent can no longer be allowed at this time to introduce evidence of his open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child or prove his alleged filiation through any of the means allowed by the Rules of Court or special laws. The simple reason is that Apolinario Uyguangco is already dead and can no longer be heard on the claim of his alleged son’s illegitimate filiation. (Ibid.)

3. Illegitimate children


Children conceived and born outside a valid marriage are illegitimate, unless otherwise provided in this Code. (Article 165, Ibid.)


Mother’s surname, by default. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. (Article 176, Family Code, as amended by R.A. 9255)

When the father. However, illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. (Ibid.)

Provided, the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child. (Ibid.)

4. Legitimated children


Only children conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be legitimated. (Article 177, Ibid.)


Legitimation shall take place by a subsequent valid marriage between parents. The annulment of a voidable marriage shall not affect the legitimation. (Article 178, Ibid.)


Legitimated children shall enjoy the same rights as legitimate children. (Article 179, Ibid.)


To the time of child’s birth. The effects of legitimation shall retroact to the time of the child’s birth. (Article 180, Ibid.)

Benefits descendants. The legitimation of children who died before the celebration of the marriage shall benefit their descendants. (Article 181, Ibid.)


Those whose rights are prejudiced. Legitimation may be impugned only by those who are prejudiced in their rights.. (Article 182, Ibid.)

The 5-year prescription. Legitimation may be impugned within five years from the time their cause of action accrues. (Ibid.)

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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Other frauds, Revised Penal Code

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