May an illegitimate child use the surname of his mother as his middle name if his father later adopts him?

Let us say a child was conceived and born outside a valid marriage.

Having been born under this circumstance, it follows that his status is illegitimate.

Of course, as an illegitimate child, he is entitled to use only his given name and the surname of his mother as his surname but with no middle name.

He cannot even use the middle name of his mother as his middle name, because this will make them siblings.

But it is still possible for him to have a middle name. And this is when he is legitimated by the subsequent valid marriage of his parents. Or if his father had acknowledged him as his child in accordance with law.

In both cases, he will be entitled to use the surname of his mother as his middle name and the surname of his father as his surname.

But what if his parents never got married, which of course makes legitimation no longer possible, and, instead of just acknowledging him as his child, his father adopted him?

Will he still be entitled to use the surname of his mother as his middle name?

In other words, may an illegitimate child use the surname of his mother as his middle name if his father later adopts him?

The answer is yes.

Because one of the effects of adoption is that the adoptee is deemed to be a legitimate child of the adopter for all intents and purposes.

Being a legitimate child by virtue of his adoption, it follows that an adoptee is entitled to all the rights provided by law to legitimate children without discrimination of any kind.

These of course include but certainly not limited to the right to bear the surname of his father and his mother.

In fact, it is a Filipino custom that the initial or surname of the mother should immediately precede the surname of the father.

It will also be beneficial for an illegitimate child, whose father later adopts him, to use the surname of his mother as his middle name for the following reasons:

First, he will maintain his maternal lineage.

Second, he can well assert or claim his hereditary rights from his mother in the future.

Bear in mind that our laws provide that the adoptee remains an intestate heir of his biological parents.

Third, it will not only sustain his continued loving relationship with his mother but will also eliminate the stigma of his illegitimacy.

One thing more, since there is no law that prohibits an illegitimate child, whose father later adopts him, to use the surname of his mother as his middle name, there is then no reason why he should not be allowed to do so.

References:

  • In the Matter of the Adoption of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia (G.R. No. 148311, March 31, 2005)
  • Article 35 of PD 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code)
  • Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines
  • Rule 99 of the Rules of Court
  • Article 364 to 380 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 364 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 365 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 369 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 370 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 371 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 372 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 373 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 374 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 375 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines (as amended by RA 9255)
  • Article 375 (1) of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 365 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines
  • Article 364 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Republic Act No. 8552 (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998)
  • Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines
  • Section 17, Article V of RA 8552
  • Article 189 (3) of the Family Code of the Philippines
  • Section 18, Article V of RA 8552
  • Article 10 of the Civil Code of the Philippines

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