Can Father of Illegitimate Child Obtain Custody when Mother is Abroad?

An illegitimate child is one who is born of parents who were not legally married to one another at the time of the child’s birth, and who remain unmarried to one another.

By law and jurisprudence, the mother of an illegitimate child has sole parental authority and is entitled to keep the child in her company.  This rule continues to apply even when the father of the child acknowledges filiation (paternity), although the court may order the father to provide support as a result of the acknowledgment, but not custody.

In one case (Briones vs. Miguel, GR 156343, Oct. 18, 2004), the Supreme Court upheld the illegitimate child’s mother’s custody even when the mother was working in Japan and eventually brought the child out of the country to live with her there.

True, there are exceptions to this rule but only when there are compelling reasons to deprive the mother of custody.  Examples are neglect or abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable disease.

Merely working abroad while entrusting the child to the care of the maternal grandparents or other immediate family member does not seem to be one of the grounds for taking away custody from the mother.  It cannot be considered as abandonment or neglect as well.


214 thoughts on “Can Father of Illegitimate Child Obtain Custody when Mother is Abroad?

  1. D'jorno

    Question: Does a Father get a full custody of a child under 7 years old if the mother is or has been unemployed? The mother has been unemployed (without proof of any income from an employee) for over 6 months now and the Father has been providing and supporting the all of the child’s needs. Both are married.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      You mentioned in your message : “Both are married”. If this means both of the child’s parents are married to each other, then the child is legitimate. The general rule is for children under 7 years of age to be with the mother. Her temporary unemployment or even insufficiency of income may not be considered compelling reason to deprive her of custody unless you show other negative circumstances that her custody has over your common child. This is because the child is entitled to financial support coming from you. Ordinarily, when married parents separate, custody of minor children is awarded to the mother while the father is ordered to provide support to the children. I hope that this helps clear the matter.

  2. Mylene

    I have a 6 years old daughter, her father have been supporting him since her birth, her father and I are both unmarried up this time. Soon I will get married to my fiance and will migrate to US.
    Question: Does the father of my daughter have any right not to allow our daughter to go US? If he will not sign the consent papers, what legal action should I impose on him?

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Your daughter is illegitimate and you are entitled to exercise sole parental authority over her. Your daughter can leave the country with you and need not obtain a travel clearance for that. A problem, however, can arise when it’s time to tell him about her departure. You can expect some opposition and maybe even a case for custody, which could delay the departure especially if he applies for a hold departure order. I suggest that you draw up a schedule for yearly visits before disclosing your plans to leave. This way, he will not feel that he is being alienated from your daughter. I hope this helps.

  3. Coeli

    Hi, you mentioned above that, “…does not SEEM to be one of the grounds for taking away custody from the mother. “, could the father have any chance of getting custody over the child if its mother is abroad. What then is the meaning of the term “absence” used in the Family Code. If the father would not be given sole custody, could he at least have shared custody over the child? Actually, the mother is in good terms with the father (though unwed) and is willing for the child to spend time with the father (can you enlighten me on the coverage of Visitation Rights?) however, the grandmother decides for the mother even if her daughter tells her to lend the child. What should the father do? Thank you.

  4. ..ej..

    Gud evening.. My partner and I were together for 4 years.. we ‘re not married.. we separated ways last November because he has another gf.. we have 3 kids.. I am going abroad next month to work and I’m planning to leave my kids to my father and sister. I do not want to leave the kids to him because of so many reasons like, he is not capable of taking care of our kids because of his work.. he is a call center agent and his work takes most of his time.. habitual drunkenness, he’s drunk almost everyday.. he has a gf, i can’t bear to leave my kids with him and another woman.. I am not depriving him him of his right to visit, i just don’t want him taking my kids with him.. is that possible?? can u please enlighten me.. thank you very much..

    1. Attorney Post author

      Your children are illegitimate so you are entitled to have them under your care now that you are no longer in a relationship with their father. However, he is still entitled to some access to your children through a visitation arrangement. I suggest that you start discussing the terms of a visitation agreement before you leave the country to avoid confusion while you are away. Also, a visitation agreement that is faithfully observed by all parties may keep your ex from thinking of filing a custody petition while you are away.
      If you are concerned about the negative behavior you just mentioned, you can put limits on the times he can pick them up and include a provision in the agreement that reminds him of the welfare of the children and the importance of the children’s feelings about the visits. A lawyer should be able to help you draft this agreement or negotiate with your ex for his acceptance.

      I hope this helps.

  5. zitsilog

    question, i was never married to the father of my son. and i decided to leave with my son after he hit me. i have never heard from him since and it is almost a year now. my son is almost 14months old, i and my parents wanted to change my son’s whole name. i would like to ask how can i possibly change my son’s name without his father’s consent? and if filing for abandonment would help, because i am also planning to migrate abroad.

    pls do reply. thank you very much in advance.

    1. Attorney Post author

      You will have to file a petition for change of name in court citing good reasons for it. If the father of your son contests the petition, the judge will listen to both sides and make a decision depending on the circumstances of your case. Citing the fact of lack of financial support and his abandonment for a year may help in changing the child’s surname (to yours) but is not always a guarantee. You may also cite your plans to migrate abroad and how the last name of your child may make it difficult for you to bring him with you. Remember: what matters to the court is what good will come out of changing the child’s name or surname.

      I hope this helps.

      1. zitsilog

        thank you very much attorney!!!

      2. zitsilog

        attorney, if i may ask another question. i would like to ask how long can it possibly take if i file for change of name and if i need a lawyer for that?

        thank you very much in advance.

      3. Attorney Post author

        A petition for change of name must be filed in court, so you’ll need a lawyer to handle this for you. The process could take months because you will be ordered to publish a notice of your petition in a newspaper at least once a week for a few consecutive weeks. The hearings will start only sometime after its full publication.

  6. angela *** ******


    i have been married for 5 years now, and has been separated with him 2 years ago but not legally because i am working abroad. we have a child who is 5 years old now, i am financially supporting her for 5 years, the child is with his family. for the past 4 years he was unemployed. now he got the job. my question is, can i take the sole custody of the child? because his family and himself doesn’t want me to take good care of my child. they don’t even allow me to talk to the kid.
    what are the chances that i can take my child’s custody?

    1. Attorney Post author

      As the child’s mom, you have a better right to obtain custody of your child than the grandparents. At age 5, the courts may grant you sole custody unless the father of your child proves your unfitness as a mom. I suggest that you go see a lawyer who can file a petition for custody and other provisional remedies so that you can see your child while the petition is pending in court.
      I hope this helps.

  7. Kate

    Hi Atty, I have the weirdest case ever. When my son was 2 years old, I had 4 criminal cases , got into an affair and was unemployed and the case was settled by the father of my son. Upon settling my case, he made me sign a custody and adoption paper stating that I am unemployed. I am now employed and I have no case against me. I need to know if I can still get the custody of my child. I can email you the details of our agreements if ever. thanks

  8. Gerry

    The article above mentions the mother’s right of sole parental authority to the child. It also mentioned that when the mother works abroad, it is ok to leave the child to the MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS or ANY IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER.
    The mother of my 2 year old child got married 4 weeks ago. It is an undesitrable situation as far as I am concerned. We talked about it before she got married and living with maternal grandparents was our consentual point. Even agreed to leave the child with my side of the family for the sake of schooling.
    Question 1.
    If she leaves for abroad, will it be lawful to leave my daughter to the custody of her neew husband? Can I prevent this situation? I have been supporting them financially until now but she suddenly got married. I have signed the Paternity Admission for my child.
    Question 2.
    I agree that my daughter lives with her maternal grandparents.
    My mother died already and my father is old. Will my brother or sister be allowed to keep custody as an alternative for the maternal grandparents?My brother’s wife is the administrator of the school I own where we originally planned my daughter to attend.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Reply to Jerome’s Question1: If she leaves for abroad, will it be lawful to leave my daughter to the custody of her neew husband? Can I prevent this situation? I have been supporting them financially until now but she suddenly got married. I have signed the Paternity Admission for my child.

      Answer: The mother of an illegitimate child has sole parental authority regardless of the admission of paternity appearing in the child’s birth certificate. She is legally allowed to entrust her child temporarily to a person she trusts, like her new husband. The situation may be prevented if you know of serious reasons why the child should not be left with the new husband and perhaps file a petition for custody citing those reasons. But you may have to prove your relationship to the child first if the child’s birth certificate does not name you as her father. Also, it is possible for the mother to entrust care to the child’s maternal grandparents instead of leaving her in the care of her new husband.

      Question 2: I agree that my daughter lives with her maternal grandparents.
      My mother died already and my father is old. Will my brother or sister be allowed to keep custody as an alternative for the maternal grandparents?My brother’s wife is the administrator of the school I own where we originally planned my daughter to attend.

      The article above mentions the mother’s right of sole parental authority to the child. It also mentioned that when the mother works abroad, it is ok to leave the child to the MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS or ANY IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER.
      The mother of my 2 year old child got married 4 weeks ago. It is an undesitrable situation as far as I am concerned. We talked about it before she got married and living with maternal grandparents was our consentual point. Even agreed to leave the child with my side of the family for the sake of schooling.

      The rule sets an order of preference for the persons who may exercise substitute parental authority in default of parents and the surviving grandparent is preferred over any other relative. This does not mean, however, that you can’t enter into an agreement for the temporary custody of your daughter while the mother is away. I suggest that you open a discussion with the child’s mother about giving temporary custody to your sister while she is abroad.

      I hope this helps.

  9. Gerry

    I have missed asking an important question>
    My 2 year-old daughter is with the mother and husband who got married just a month ago.
    Can I be given a consideration to keep the child with me? What is my status as compared to her new husband? Will the new husband enjoy greater right than me? We dont have any problem between us two (mother and I) and I have been supporting my child and the mother, until now. The marriage last month came as a surprise.

    Before she got married, we agreed that if she goes abroad, she would allow the child to live with me. or at least allow my child to visit/stay with my brothers and sisters families. I live in Canada but I intend to see my child in April 2011.
    How does the recent marriage affect my rights?

  10. Ian


    My son’s father and I were not married. He acknowledged my son in my son’s birth certificate. However for 7 years, he never gave any financial support or whatsoever. Now I’m already married to another guy, is it possible for my husband to adopt my son, also removing his biological father on his birth certificate. My son carries my surname, can he still retain my surname even after my husband adopts him?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Yes, your husband can adopt your son by filing a petition for adoption in court. If granted, your son will be issued an amended birth certificate showing the name of the adopter as the parent. His surname will follow that of your husband’s and his new middle name will be your maiden last name.

      I hope this helps.

      1. Ian

        Thank you, can you please give me a quotation of how much should we prepare and how long will the process last?

      2. Atty. Post author

        Ian: The cost of the legal procedure will depend on the lawyer’s fees, which vary. Due to the time involved, it is reasonable to expect legal fees to be expensive. The process of adoption may take anywhere between 18 to 24 months. I hope this helps.

  11. elvie *** *******

    Hello Attorney,

    I have a question… my cousin was an only child, and she got pregnant and had a son. the father acknowledged paternity and the son carries the family name of the father. they were never married. unfortunately my cousin died while the baby was 8 mos old. my aunt and uncle (maternal grandparents) had been caring and providing for the needs of the child. he is now 4 years old and is already in school. the father have not given financial support, only occasional gifts come birthdays and christmas…so far we have maintained a civil relationship with the biological father, even allowed the child to visit them several times in a year…the last time got us worried because they did not return the child and stayed there for over a month which made the child miss school for about 2 weeks. when the grandmother fetched the child, the biological father mentioned that he would want the child to stay with him and study in their place. the grandparents are below 60 years old, have their own business and have taken good care of the child. my questions are:
    who has the rightful custody of the child in this case?
    can the father force the grandparents to give him the child or can we petition the court to prevent it?
    can we ask the court to designate the grandparents as having sole custody?

    hope you can help us…thank you very much!

    1. Webmaster Post author

      Elvie: Atty will reply to your query directly at your email address.

  12. kingfisher

    me and my mothers son were separated recently! when we were together, i took full responsibility over my childs welfare and also hers! and now that we are separated i want to obtain full custody over my son because i know deep in my heart that can take care of my son more than his mother. thank you very much! pls email the reply

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kingfisher: reply already sent through email.

  13. zucchi0075

    my sister had an illegitimate child with ex-boyfriend. the father acknowledged my niece in the birth certificate, and carried his surname. my sister and niece have left the country then & had no communication for 4yrs. They are now immigrants. She now wants to visit but was advised that she ensure no Hold-departure order was filed by the ex-boyfriend here. My questions:
    1.does the natural father have rights to my niece?
    2. she had DSWD clearances when she left. are these not enough documents to prevent immigration/border hassles when she& my niece travels?
    3. How can one find out if there was a Hold-departure order issued against her? what are the implications if there was one issued?
    would really appreciate answers. my sister is worrying herself to bits.

    1. Atty. Post author

      1. The biological father of an illegitimate child generally has visitation rights, not custody.
      2. The travel clearance is typically sufficient for the mother to travel abroad with her minor child, unless there is a hold departure order issued by a court in connection with a custody case pending with it.
      3. A hold departure order is normally issued in connection with a pending court case, so your best bet is to go to the court where a possible custody case has been filed and inquire about the status of the case and verify the existence of a hold departure order, if any. If there is one, then your sister will have to appear in court and ask a lawyer to help her move for the lifting of the order.

      Verify first. Her ex could just be a barking dog. 🙂 All bark, no bite.

      I hope this helps.

  14. may

    i have a 3yr.old daughter and i am not married.the father of my kid and i were now daughter is carrying the surname of her dad.the only support i get from him is a can of milk once a month from her birth until now and sometimes nothing at all.he would only give if he daughter is growing and soon will study.i dont have a parents were theones supporting us.we all know that a can of milk is not all that my daughter needs.QUESTIOS:does he have a right to have my daughter’s custody because i am unemployed?do i have the right to demand for financial support from him?if i have the right how much is the appropriate amount for a 3 yrs.old kid turning 4 on may?he is a nurse and planning to go to canada,is there a chance that he could bring my daughter with him even if i did not agree?does he have the right to bring my daughter out even if i did not allow him?please send all the details regarding this matter.thanks in advance =) ooh by the way before my daughter he has also a daughter with other girl and he is not also married with the mother of his 1st child and now he has a new girlfriend again.a proof that he is a womanizer.

    1. Atty. Post author

      1. Your being unemployed does not automatically make you lose parental authority over your daughter. An illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of her mother. The father’s right is limited to reasonable visitation rights. If he files for child custody, he will have to show serious reasons why the child should not be left under your care and being unemployed of itself is not a compelling reason.
      2. Your child has a right to be supported. You can ask for child support in her behalf.
      3. There are no fixed amounts in support. It is always dependent on the means of the giver and the needs of the recipient. I suggest you compute all your daughter’s expenses: milk, diapers, vitamins, medicines, clothing, etc. on a monthly basis and ask for that amount as monthly child support. This amount should be consistent with the means of the father, meaning, if the father is only a minimum wage earner, then your daughter’s needs and expenses should be in an amount that fits a minimum wage earner’s income. If he is well off, then naturally, your daughter can be entitled to a better lifestyle.
      4. For your daughter to travel abroad, she will need a passport. With this passport, the father can bring her out of the country without your knowledge because her last name is similar to his and he can make it appear that she is a legitimate child when questioned at the port of exit. So, I suggest that you apply for your daughter’s passport and keep it with you, because once issued, he cannot obtain another one for her.

      I hope this helps.

  15. may

    pano poh kpg naunahan na poh nya aq kmuha ng passport ng baby q?pano poh kpg nadala nyana poh sa canada yung baby q ng hndi q alm?may chance poh ba na mabawi q yung anak q?papano poh gagawin q?at anong kaso poh yung pwde qng i file against him para mawalan na xa ng karapatan sa anak q?please help me,i badly need your advice.hndi q poh kayang mawala skn baby q. nung nag apply poh xa sa canada as nurse nalaman q poh na nilgay nya yung name ng anak q at hndi nya nilgay yung name ng panganay nyang anak.pano poh un kung ipetition nya yung nak q?mailalbas nya poh ng legal yung anak q dto sa pilipinas kahit ayaw q?ntatakot poh aq kc feeling q may gnagwa clang paraan para mkuha yung baby q ng hndi q alm.please poh 2lungan nyo q.

    1. Atty. Post author

      May: DFA will only release the passport of an illegitimate child to the mother who must personally appear at the DFA. Getting a visa for the baby will also be difficult because the embassy will require proof of right of custody. So, try not to worry too much but of course, take good care of your baby.

  16. mav

    Both I and my son’s mother is married to different spouses and have been separated from our spouses for more than 4 years ago. we had a son who is already 6 months old and havent filed for his birth certiticate as the hospital is looking for a marriage certificate as required document. My question is, can my son use my surname? what rights do i have form my son?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Yes, your son can use your surname provided that you sign the acknowledgment of paternity appearing at the back of the certificate of live birth. Presently, a law (RA (9255) allows illegitimate children to use the surnames of their fathers. If you and the child’s mother see it advantageous for your son to carry your surname, then now is the best time to avail of the law. Otherwise, any future change in the surname will only appear as an annotation on the child’s birth certificate.

      I hope this helps.

  17. mav

    thanks Atty. it enlighten me. Just a follow up question, we are planning to heve him baptize but the church is looking for a marriage contract. Are these really required? also, what are the rights that I can practice with my son incase he carry my surname?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Church requirements vary so if you are faced with one that strictly requires proof of marriage before allowing your child’s baptism, then maybe you can consider another church.

      Your right as the father of an illegitimate child is the same, whether or not he carries your surname. It includes reasonable visitation rights, but parental authority is still exercised SOLELY by the child’s mother. You also have to support your child according to your means.

  18. cher

    My brother had a son with his girlfriend. He signed the birth certificate to recognize the child. They have lived together for 4 years without getting married. On the 5th year of being together, my brother found out that his gf was cheating on him and this led to their separation. Although unemployed and completely dependent on my mom and sister’s financial resources, my brother continued to take care of his son. The child lives with my brother and visits his mother every weekend. It is safe to say that although the mother has sole parental authority over the child, primary custody has always been with my brother. The mother of the child has always been irresponsible when it comes to taking care of the child, she used to be drug dependent(and may still be trying drugs from time to time), and would often choose having a night out with her friends instead of taking care of her son. My brother is not exactly an angel too(he graduated late from college) but he gives priority to his son and have changed a lot of his bad ways for the sake of his son.

    Question #1 – Is it possible for my brother to file for the transfer of parental authority based on the fact that the mother is quite irresponsible with her son?
    Question#2 What are the odds involved if my brother files for custody considering he is currently unemployed?
    Question #3 Does the mother have a right to ask for financial support from my brother even if he is unemployed and dependent on my mother and sister’s financial support?
    Question #4 In the event that my brother is unable to provide financial support for his son because he is unemployed, does the mother of the child have legal right to demand for financial support from the other members of my family like my mom and my sister (i live abroad)?
    Question #5 If the court decides that both my brother and the mother of the child are unfit for custody of my nephew(unemployed father and irresponsible mother), would it be possible for my mom or my sister to get custody of my nephew instead(the family of my brother gf can not be considered good influences to my nephew because of habitual drug dependency among the family members, lack of financial ability, and extremely difficult moral background) ? We do not want my nephew to grow up around the mother’s family because of the bad influence they might bring.

    1. Webmaster Post author

      Cher: A reply was sent to your email address. Please check your mail.

  19. dell@28

    hi atty,

    i’m really bothered because my ex-gf is planning to go back here in the philippines and bring my 6yr old son to US thru a petition, does the US Embassy will require my consent for my illegitimate son for him to apply a visa, or for travel out of the country? because if not i assumed that they will surely make a way to bring my son out of the country and i will not have a chance to see my son again.

    1. Atty. Post author

      It may be possible for your illegitimate son to leave the country without your consent. Mothers have sole parental authority over their minor illegitimate children. Most countries only require proof of right of custody to obtain a visa. I suggest that you reach out early and ask for regular visitation to enable you to see your son. You may also have to consider filing a case for you to be granted reasonable visitation rights. I hope this helps.

  20. naty

    i have a baby girl with my friend who is still married.i had my baby out of usa…my friend is a us citizen . i’m not.does he have the right to get a usa birth certificate for my daughter without my permission???does he have any right on her even if i’m not living usa.i don’t want him or need him as a father for my daughter.if i go to usa for my he able to make any kind of problems for me .

  21. jay

    I have 2 kids with my ex gf(we are not married) and they are using my surname and it shows on their birth certificates. My 2 kids are with my mother and i am the only one provides financial support like schools,foods,clothing,housing etc, since I have better job and Immigrant here in the US.
    My question is how can I bring my 2 kids(11 and 12) here in US to live and experience a better school and life? I have so many obstacles, first to obtain dswd clearance or court order,next is applying passport for my kids,3rd will be US embassy interview or visa?
    The basic problem will be how to obtain passport for my 2 illegitimate kids?
    Atty, thank you so much for helping us, your answers really give us a peace of mind.

    1. Atty. Post author

      The best way is really to communicate in a nice way with the mother of your children.
      1. Get her to sign an agreement that confirms her consent to have the children live with you, including their travel and change of residence abroad.
      2. You can apply for the passports but you may have to accompany their mother when it is time to obtain them from DFA. I have received some messages here from readers who maintain that some fathers were able to obtain passports for their illegitimate children. I assume that having the same last names in the birth certificates may have helped, but these may just have been an oversight on the reviewing officer of the DFA rather than the rule. So, there are no guarantees.
      3. Usually, children who travel with either parent are not required to obtain a DSWD travel clearance.
      4. The US embassy interview for the visa is also a different matter and you will have to look closely into the requirements for it because these are totally different from the Philippine government’s requirements. It will also depend on what type of visa it is you are applying for them. Bottomline is, the mother’s consent and cooperation is important.

      I hope this helps.

  22. Genaline ***

    Hi,I would like to know how to terminate my husband’s rights to his illegitimate child? We got married without knowing that he has a previous child out of wedlock and in the latter part, I have found out about this child. What are my rights to protect my family? What if I don’t want my husband to have any relations to this child? is this possible?

  23. Binoy

    hi attorney, hope all is well…i am a filipino currently living in UK. Here’s my story. i left the country in 2004 to work in the middle east. on my 7th month there my wife cheated on me. she eloped with her “lover” she left my kids(12 and 9 yrs old now) in the care of her younger sister and brother who were living with us. so i went home to see if my kids are alright. i took them on my custody my reason was she is not fit to take care of my kids. i dont want my kids to see what shes doing and think that it was just alright to leave a husband if a woman decided to do so. that immorality is acceptable. it would leave a bad example to my kids. i have two kids. i tried to save our family. were not married. she became pregnant with her lover. but since i love my kids i dont want them to suffer the shame and pain of losing their mother to another man, it tried to persuade her to stay. but she decided not to. my daughter tried to stop her from leaving but she just ignored her. she was really made to leave us. shes unemployed. if ever she have a job that wont be enough to feed and provide for our kids needs. she just finish elementary level. now am petitioning my kids to join me and live in the UK. we made contact to her just last week. that was the first since 2005. am trying to convince her that what am doing is for our kids future. we were able to secure a clearance form the dswd with her cooperation. now shes threatening not to cooperate with securing of passport of our kids. am losing patience seems shes making it and playing with me the past few days. now she demands for money for her to cooperate. but i promise her i will give her the money she wants. although i gave her my assurance, she said shes having second thoughts of helping us with the passport. now attorney, i was thinking of telling her that if she refuses to cooperate, i would be force not to seek her help. and go on with my own way. i have offers from people who can get us a passport but with cost to pay. am fed up with her. doses she still have the right to get the custody of our 2 kids..she cheated on me in the first place, shes immoral. shes unemployed. she got 3 kids already from her partner now and they are too hard up in raising their kids. shes just relying to her partner for support of their kids. what do you think attorney? do u think i will win this case if ever i file a legal action? i can support my kids well, and she cant. my kids doesnt want to live with her. advise me on this attorney..god bless!

    1. Atty Post author

      Go ahead and process the passport application first and then work on getting her to show up at the DFA to claim the passports.

      What made her uncooperative lately? Sometimes, it helps to know what the other person’s motivations are for you to propose a middle ground for her to agree with. If it’s cash, then ask a lawyer to negotiate it with her or her lawyer. The presence of lawyers may make her tone down her demands.

      If she still refuses to cooperate, then maybe your last resort is to file a petition for sole custody citing the reasons you just mentioned in your query. Your chances of obtaining a favorable court order will depend on whether she contests your petition. If she fights it out, the court may order JOINT and not SOLE custody as judges tend to favor giving BOTH parents equal parental authority over children. The maternal preference also has to be outweighed by convincing evidence that she is unfit. There are no hard and fast rules here. Lack of a stable job and a relationship with another man has not been categorically ruled as grounds for depriving a mom of custody. So, be careful with this move.

      I hope this helps.

  24. Rosie

    Hi! Ive been working in Canada as live in caregiver for twho years now. I am now applying for a permanent residency here in Canada. I will include my daughter in my application. One of the requirements is to obtain a custody paper.Will i need to get custody paper? My daughter is illegitimate and since my daughter was born i have sole custody to her and when i came to Canada i signed a Special power of attorney that my sister will be a temporary guardian. I filed for petition for support in the court and the court granted it.
    Now he is supporting my daughter financially but he doesnt visit my daughter.
    Please let me know if an affidavit of illegitimacy is enough to sumbit.Or will I need a consent letter from the father since he is supporting my daughter? Please help!

    1. Atty. Post author

      A reply was sent through email. Please check. Thanks.

  25. Axia's Dad

    Hello and thank you for this site. I am the father of an illegitimate child who is now 2 years old. The relationship with the mother ended 8 months before my child was born. The mother intended to abort the child if I did not agree to support my unborn child. The mother of my daugther admitted to having affairs during our relationship which is the reason our relationship ended. Regardless, I have accepted responsibility for the child, supported the mother and daugther at birth and for the last two years. I have researched my rights and the rights of my illegitimate child online. I understand that I have visitation rights to my child. I am prepared to file a petition for visitation, since the mother often does not allow me to visit with my child and is basically unreasonable when it comes to visitation. The mother only allows me to visit my child at their home. My question is, if I file for visitation rights, will I be allowed to take my child out of the family home to visit with my family, my child’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins? In the last 2 years, the mother has only allowed my child to visit with my family, with a chaperone, on two ocassions. I hesitate to file for visitation as I hoped to work it out with the mother, and use the money that would go to legal fees to support my child’s needs and education. Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. Atty Post author

      Axia’s dad: A reply was sent via email. Please check.

      1. Axia's Dad

        Thank you very much for your reply via email. While I tend to agree with you to get a lawyer to send her a letter and encourage her to enter into a parenting agreement with me, I think it will only further upset her. I need to find a way to get along with her, if I want to be in my daughter’s life. Afterall, we have to work together as parents for many years to come. l will continue to follow her rules and hope that she can find it in her heart to trust me to have a non-chaperone visit with my daughter for the first time, and on a regular basis. Your advice is my backup if all of my efforts fail. I do truly appreciate your very quick response to my question. Thank you. This site have been very helpful to me.

  26. Aa

    Hello attorney. I just had a child and the father and i are not married. Our child will be named after me the mother. At the back of the birth certificate is the acknowledgement, and the father wants to acknowledge our child. My question is, if the father signed the acknowledgement at the back of the birth certificate is my child still named after me or the father? And what is the best way to do for acknowledgement of the father? Thank you..

    1. Atty. Post author

      If you want your child to carry your surname but still be entitled to support and legitime (inheritance) from the father, I suggest that you avoid letting the father sign the paternity acknowledgment at the back of the certificate of live birth. Under the new law (RA 9255), a child whose birth certificate carries the signed acknowledgment will be registered with the father’s last name.

      Just ask the father to execute a separate affidavit acknowledging paternity and keep it for future purposes. When your child is 18 or older, let the child know that it is his/her choice whether to change his/her last name to the father’s name.

      I hope this helps.

  27. Jeff

    hi atty. i am father of an 8 years old son. my son is with her mother since birth and we were never married. my son was about 4-5 when me and her mom decided to break up. after we break up i had no problem in seeing my kid. i have pictures to show that i was there when he was growing like birthdays, his kindergarten graduation and a lot more. until very recently the mother had her second child with another man. now she wont allow me to see my kid anymore and saying na nangugulo ako. i send my kid to school as my support to him and visit him 4-5 times a year because of my work. the mother is unemployed… she has again an iligitimate child with his current bf and they are leaving in together. i love my kid so much that i want to get sole custody of him because i believe that her mother can not take good care of him. atty will i have a good chance of the custody of my kid? thank you and i hope you will reply.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jeff: As a rule, illegitimate children are under the sole custody of the mother although a father may be entitled to reasonable visitation rights. If the mother of your son still refuses to let you see him, you may file a petition in court asking for a regular visitation schedule. The mother’s relationship with another man, her new child and her unemployment may not be enough for the court to grant you custody of the child. I hope this helps.

      1. Maximino p

        atty: i almost have the same issue with jeff, except that my son is u.s. citizen and has u.s passport. i will be moving to japan and i am now married. my son is only 6 yrs old i took him away from my ex-GF cu’z she lied to me for 3 yrs. she had another kid with the god father of my son while im overseas and i been supporting my son for almost 4 yrs. from $150.00 to $500.00, a month, i can tell all the neglections, maltreatment and lack of support to my son while he was there. plus the environment that they stayed at. (Squatter area) i know that she has the sole custody of my son since it is illegitimate and it is still a minor. i want to bring him with me to japan and take care of him. do i need a DSWD travel clearance? or court order stating that i have the full custody of our child? i need your advice. talking to her regarding this matter is just a waste of time because. all she care is money… she even treathen my son that if she call my wife mom that she will kill my son… i am not giving back my son ATTY. no matter happens. what should i do?

      2. Atty. Post author

        Maximino: Since your child carries a US passport, then he may not need a DSWD clearance to travel abroad, but please check with the Japanese embassy for other requirements they may need to allow you to enter their country with a minor child. They may ask for proof of right of custody such as a court order.

  28. abigail

    hi. i just want to ask if how can i help my husband to have visitation rights for his son. he has an illegitimate son and her former girlfriend doesnt allow him to visit or even see him and yet he’s asking for things that i already provide. theres this instance that my husband gave her meds for their child and after a week she’s asking for another set of meds which was imposible to be consumed in a week. she’s even teaching their son bad words and feeding him negative things. the grandmother of their child(mother of the ex gf) is willing to give visitaion rights because she knows taht my husband is responsible. the mother also scares my husband that she will change the surname of their child. i forgot to tell that they broke up because my husband found out that she was cheating on him. so my question is what is the best that we could do to have visitation rights or better yet have the childs custody. thanks.

  29. abigail

    hi. i just want to ask if how can i help my husband to have visitation rights for his son. he has an illegitimate son and her former girlfriend doesnt allow him to visit or even see him and yet he’s asking for things that i already provide. theres this instance that my husband gave her meds for their child and after a week she’s asking for another set of meds which was imposible to be consumed in a week. she’s even teaching their son bad words and feeding him negative things. the grandmother of their child(mother of the ex gf) is willing to give visitaion rights because she knows taht my husband is responsible. the mother also scares my husband that she will change the surname of their child. i forgot to tell that they broke up because my husband found out that she was cheating on him. so my question is what is the best that we could do to have visitation rights or better yet have the childs custody. thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Abigail: Your husband is entitled to visitation rights which he may formally ask by filing a petition in court. Obtaining child custody is a bit difficult because under existing law, an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. Changing a child’s surname, although possible, is not going to be easy, so your husband shouldn’t worry about it right now. If he’s providing support regularly and is not doing anything wrong to the child, then I don’t see how the mother could justify a petition for change of surname. I hope this helps.

  30. shirley

    hi! i just want to ask if how can i get a financial support to the father of my daughter even if he is in abroad, right now were still living with his parents house, how can i get a full financial support for my child?even if were not married nd he has another woman in other country , would i have a chance to give my daughter a better education with the help of her father in abroad? he want me to leave with his parents house, how can i force him to get a financial support ? before we leave to their house? please do reply many thanks..bunny

  31. jane

    Hi po,
    I am sponsoring my son as a dependent child who lives in the Philippine with his grand parents (My father and my mother).One of the documents that I need to submit to immigration Canada in Toronto is the proof of my son custody. Parents who legally married in the Philippine and divorced. They may have this proof with the least problem from the court or may get it from other different sources. For my case the problem is I never married and divorced officially, also I have no proof of custody of my son. We were living as a family in Manila for few years. He left me and my son and we never heard from him since then. I had to move with my son to my parent’s home to a different province .As many people I decided to leave the Philippine and I applied in Canada. I was qualified and received my visa and moved to Canada by myself to have better life and provide better future for my son. During this time, almost ten years, my son was staying with my parents (his grandparents), his father never contacted him or come to see him and actually we do not know where he is. I left behind all my past bitter memories about my irresponsible ex- boyfriend. And decided to apply for my son as a dependent child, through family sponsorship program. My son is 13 years now and I almost ten years hard working here in Canada I got a stable job and life here and I am confident that I can sponsor my son and provide all his basic needs. As a mother who suffered this separation for many years from his only child. The only document that shows he is my son in his birth certificate and he carry my name and his father name and signature on it. My son used to live with my parents for last 10 years and everybody in our province awarded about this. What type of other different proof can help me in this matter? Thank you and please advise me the best I can do to prepare a satisfactory document.Bec.Canada need to submit a proof of child custody, confirmation that you have all obligations in custody agreements and that dependant is free to move to Canada. Ensure to provide certified copies of court documents. How and where can I get those documents that they are looking for bec we don’t sign any agreements or whatsoever? I just leave my son to my parents to take care of him while I’m here in Canada. Now I’m ready to sponsor him but my problem is Canada immigration want me to submit those documents that I mention.Pls help me.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jane: Based on the enumerated requirements of the Canadian immigration authorities, I think that the best proof to show your right of custody is a court order. You will have to file a petition for sole custody in court and go through the whole process of attending hearings and presenting evidence (with the help of your lawyer, of course). I suggest you start the process soon because this can take months, depending on the strategy of your lawyer and any opposition the father may make. I hope this helps.

  32. erika

    I have a seven year old daughter out of wedlock who is living with my the parents and regularly being taking care off by my ex-bf’s parents too. I am now married and working abroad. I am planning to migrate to Canada and I want to include my daughter in my aplication but the father of my daughter refused to sign the papers. How will I convince him to sign the papers? Should I file a case against him? And if i will file a case is there a high chance that I will have a sole custody of the child? Can he stop me from getting my daughter to migrate with me in Canada?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Erika: I understand that one of the documents Canadian immigration authorities require for children migrating abroad is a court order showing proof of right of custody. This means filing a petition for sole custody in court against the father. Even if he signs a custody agreement in your favor and out of court, you may still have to submit it for approval in court to get a court order confirming your right of custody. Although Phil laws don’t require this of illegitimate children, Canadian law is different and you will still have to comply with their requirements. I hope this helps.

  33. MizBoonie

    Will giving my child her fathers last name ( we are not married, never have been, nor are we together) raise any problems for me in the future legally just in case anything happens between me and him and he becomes angry and tries something stupid in court?

    1. Atty. Post author

      MizBoonie: I strongly suggest that if you have doubts about your relationship/friendship with the child’s father someday, then you should consider letting your child keep your last name. While your right to custody won’t be affected by the child’s last name, carrying the father’s surname may make it easy for the child to leave the country with him without your knowledge because the immigration authorities ordinarily don’t question or require the accompanying parent to produce a travel clearance in such a situation. You may also want to consider how the child might feel when he or she is grown up. From experience, illegitimate children don’t always prefer to use the father’s surnames for various reasons. You may want to give that choice to your child when he or she reaches 18. I hope this helps.

  34. elise

    In 2 weeks timw i will give birth, and i’m not married to the father of my child. and he’s separated with his wife for 9yrs now, but giving support to his other children.. I want to ask what surname should my baby use upon her birth? the father express his willingness to acknowledge and give his surname. and if i allow my baby to use his surname, would there be any problems if i will get her a philippine passport? pls reply.. urgent,. Many Thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Elise: A reply was sent previously via email.

  35. lyn


    I found ur site which I thought can be very helpful to my situation. I have a 2 year old son out of wedlock, and he is using my surname. His father has just disappeared after I gave birth to him. Eventually, I got married to a good man and my husband fulfilled the role of being a father to my child. I know I have the full custody of my son; however, my husband who is a worker and is now in the UK want to file us as his dependant, so that we can start a new life there. will there be any problems in bringing my son with me in the UK?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lyn: It will depend on the visa requirements of the UK consular office. In many cases involving visas issued by European countries, applicants are required to show proof of authority over the child, particularly a court order regarding sole custody. I suggest that you check first the requirements for obtaining a visa and see if you need to produce a court order as proof of your right of custody. If so, you should start a petition for sole custody soonest. I hope this helps.

  36. Gerardo *********

    I am a father of an illegitimate son. But, I acknowledges filiation (paternity), And I was married once before on March 1980 then we separated on 1989. Due to her infidelity. Because I was working on Cruise Ship and always away for 12 months at a time. Then on 1992, I met my common law wife ( Is common law wife the right address for her?) and started living and working together till the present. On board and/or on vacation. Now she is in Canada since 2008 as a care giver. And her permanent residency papers are due this year. Now I am trying to obtain a passport for our 13 year old son. What steps should I follow. And another question, please. Can she also petition me to Canada even if we are not legally married and my first marriage is still not yet annulled. Please help me. Thank you, po.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gerardo: I’m afraid that only the mother of your son may apply for his passport. If you intend to leave the country and migrate abroad with your son, you will also have to get the mother’s clear consent, preferably, a custody agreement that is approved in court. As regards your possible migration to Canada, it will really depend on the immigration laws of Canada, please check which rule applies to your situation in this link.

  37. Marsie

    Hi! I have a 5 yr old daughter with my ex live in partner. She’s using her dad’s surname. Her dad and I separated almost 4 yrs ago and has been sharing custody since ( she stays 1 week with me and a week with him). I am worried on how they don’t discipline my child. She’s becoming a brat because they spoil her so much. And also about how transferring from house to house every other week affects my child not only in this present time but on how it may affect her future as well. Her grandmother from his dad’s side is the one who covers her school expenses and medical expenses. But when my daughter goes home to my house they don’t give any support. But it’s okay. I’m not after any financial support. I am getting married next year and I want full custody of my child. My fiance and I are planning to move to another country after the wedding. And I have no plans on leaving or abandoning my child. I’m just scared how ugly the custody battles would be. Because they told me from the start that it would get ugly when we get to that point.. I think what they mean is they are going to use their money and connections, just so the father will have the custody of my child? what are my right as a mom? my child is illegitimate. I am self employed and very capable of raising a child. And can I change my daughter’s surname from his father’s to mine? Because it might cause some problems when I bring her to another country. And what if in the midst of the custody battle the dad takes her to the states? Is that kidnapping? Thanks!

    1. :-) Post author

      Marsie: A reply to your query was sent via email. Please check.

  38. shshh

    hi! i have 2 kids they lived in Philippines with my parents. I’m in Sweden now my eldest have my surname but my youngest have his father’s surname same father but we were never married and he never give any support for the kids. Now I’m living with my boyfriend and we were planning on taking my kids here is it possible that i can take them without their father’s consent? and if my boyfriend and i get married can he adopt my kids and have my future husbands surname? thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Shshh: Yes, you may travel abroad with your children. Illegitimate children are under the sole parental authority of the mother and do not require the consent of their father to leave the country unless there is a custody petition pending in court. If you are married, you and your husband may adopt your children jointly by filing the necessary petition in court. Once granted, your children will have the same rights as legitimate children of BOTH adopters, including the right to use your husband’s surname.

      Note: While you can leave the Philippines without their father’s consent, obtaining visas to enter Sweden will depend on the immigration laws of that country. Do check if their immigration laws require specific documents such as a court order confirming your right of custody or some other paper.
      I hope this helps.

  39. daisy s.

    Hi good morning, i have 3 children and im here in abroad. i left them to my mother who take care of them. Im married to him and were separated for almost 2years. At first my husband gave some money but now almost 1year we dont received anything from him.
    The situation is he took my son 3years old and he promised that he will returned after 2days, suddenly he send a massage to my mom saying that he will take care of my son. when my mom went there he told that he has a right to take care of my son knowing that im working here. Now we are planning to put a case for the custody of my son, i want to know if i have a chance to take my son again..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Daisy S: Yes, you can take your son if you file a petition for custody. As a general rule, mothers are preferred in cases of custody of children below 7 years old. The father may be entitled to reasonable visitation rights. I suggest that in the custody petition, you ask your lawyer as well to include a prayer (or request) for monthly support, as you mentioned that he is not providing that right now.

  40. daisy

    Thanks for your reply, But Atty. even our marriage is subsisting i have a right to take the custody of my son and live to my Mother. Coz im working here in abroad and i dont have choice knowing that we dont received any support from him. Do i need to go back to my country now and file the petition for the custody and also i can give to my Mother the responsibility to take care of my children? Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks and God bless…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Daisy: If the father does not voluntarily surrender custody, then your other option may be to file a petition for sole custody and convince the court to have your children placed under your care. The court case will definitely require your presence at various stages of the proceedings. Your lawyer should be able to coordinate with you regarding this. I hope this helps.

  41. Michelle

    Hi. I hope you can give me advice attorney. I have a 1 1/2 year old daughter. She is an illegitimate child although she is carrying her father’s name. She didn’t receive any financial support from her father since birth. He rarely visit our daughter. I believe that as her father, he has an obligation to his daughter. I want to give my child due process. He has no work right now, but I don’t think he is seriously looking for one. My question is what case can I file against him? I believe that being an irresponsible parent is a crime.
    Thank you and best regards,

    1. Atty. Post author

      Michelle: Consider sending a demand letter asking for regular monthly child support. If he ignores the demand letter, then your lawyer may advise you to file a petition for support. Yes, being financially irresponsible should be dealt with stronger sanctions; they just don’t make men like they used to. 🙂 I hope this helps.

  42. Michelle

    Thank you and more power attorney. 🙂

  43. Gerry

    I have the original Certificate of Live Birth from the hospital signed by the mother of my daughter. since I live in Canada, I signed the back of document accepting I am the father, then had it authenticated at the Phil consulate office in Vancouver. It was sent to me by the mother so that she could register our baby at civil registry, and so on.
    But before I could send it back to her, she got married and the week immediately following her marriage, she told me she would now use the surname of her new husband instead. I protested and we exchanged letters and after learning what is legal from your website, I just decided to let the argument die down thinking they can not register our baby except under the mother’s maiden name.
    I just learned that they were able to register our baby under the husband’s name. i have yet to know where they got the birthh certificate because i have the original signed by the Phil Consulate in Vancouver.
    Is the new certificate of live birth they used legal? They altered the original entries. Does that make the original document in my posession VOID?
    What about the issue of ” SIMULATION OF CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH”?
    With what they did, I would be a total stranger to my daughter and would not enjoy legal visitation rights. I wouldnt be able to get my daughter for schooling in Canada as what we had originally planned.
    I have been giving financial support to them . We actually learned about this new birth certificate while my sister-in-law was handing to the mother my financial support when they met at the mall yesterday. The mother is simply saying she has no intention of keeping our daughter away from me. But we know that is not good enough. If the husband decides to deprive me fo my right ( which is non-existent as far as the birth registry is concerned) , I would not have a legal recourse.
    Can I challenge the birth registry by providing the proof of my document?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gerry: Perhaps a paternity test showing your filiation (biological relationship) to your child is the best proof that the birth record is false. It is a criminal offense for anyone to simulate a birth or falsify entries in the birth record. I hope this helps.

  44. Allan B

    hi atty., I am a father of 2 girls, eldest is 5yrs old and youngest is 2yrs old. I hv been estranged from my wife for nearly a year now, and my 2 daughters are with me. I have been supporting them financially solely but my mother and my eldest sister are the ones taking care of them. I go home weekly and bond w my daughters. My estranged wife decided to run away with my eldest daughter last January 2011 but abandoned my younger daughter. After months, I decided to get my eldest back to my mom since she is neglected and witnessed her mom sleeping w other guys, instances where my ex-wife is drunk and so many other instances of neglect. She got UTI and there was even a time when she left my daughter at school and didn’t gave any instructions to her teacher as to who will fetch my daughter. Ending to my daughter waiting for her from 10am till 2pm. The teacher decided to bring my daughter to my mom’s home since she wants to go home as well.

    now my concern is, my wife wants custody of both girls now. And is demanding for child support. She has neglected both girls for nearly a year. She is unemployed and has no means of supporting both my kids. She is now living w her parents and no one in their household is employed. Her older brother and his family lives in the same house and is also unemployed. She neglects my kids welfare and is physically abusive. How can I defend the sole custody of my 2 daughters?
    Thank you for your time Atty.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Allan B: Under the circumstances you just mentioned, I suggest that you initiate the petition for sole custody and not wait for her to file a case against you. To do this, you must consult a lawyer who handles child custody cases and who can present the best scenario for your case. Bear in mind that a family court will most likely grant joint custody between two parents, but make one the primary custodian– ask that it be you and propose weekends for their mother. I hope this helps.

  45. Jhnx

    Good afternoon Atty., just wanted to ask is it possible for me to consult or to request the university administration, where the father of my child is working to deduct straight the financial obligations from his salary, i am willing to submit necessary papers to prove that she is acknowledged by he father. We already had the verbal agreement in front of his wife, parents and my mom that he will give monthly support since they don`t agree to be in written or legal form. The problem is he use to be late in sending his support for that small amount. And now he wanted to make it on the 15th of the month instead 30. It`s okei, i am giving enough considerations but still he use to be late on 15th and making excuses. pls. help me before going to the university. thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jhnx: I suggest that you file a petition for support in court, get a court order in your favor and wait for the father of your child to comply. If he fails to observe the terms of the support order, then your lawyer may ask for an order again from the court directing the father’s employer to deduct the amount of support from his salary. The employer will most likely require a court order before it can make the salary deductions. I hope this helps.

  46. ron

    hi,, me and my ex gf had a daughter, she will be turning 3 next month.. we got separated sept last year, she went to Qatar, and after 1 month, i caught her cheating on me thru facebook.. and she admitted that she doesnt love me anymore.. we both agree then that custody will be mine.. from there on till this month (thats baout 11 months), she only sent money last May and after sending the money, no means of communication has been made.. she has another kid from a diff guy, i know she was a single mom before i met her, but that was ok.. however, her 1st kid is with her aunt, and support for that kid is given continuously even then when we were still together, she only gets to see her kid once every 3 months..

    my questions are as follows:

    what happens to the custody? im just got married last apr.. i dont want to lose my daughter.. and if i have to prove that she is an irresponsible mother, i would do so..

    what proof can i provide in the event that the mother demands custody?

    im planning to go to hongkong disneyland for a vacation together with my wife and daughter.. but how can i apply for a passport for my kid?

    1. Atty. Post author

      1) Illegitimate children are generally under the custody of their mothers. You may consider discussing a voluntary custody agreement (in writing) with the mother and have it approved in court or legally adopt your own child so she that she will have all the rights of a legitimate child and will be under your sole parental authority. Both instances require the consent of the mother.
      2) You may apply for your child’s passport by submitting all the required documents which will include: the mother’s affidavit of consent, DSWD clearance. Another hitch is that, the child will have to be accompanied by his or her mother in order to claim the passport.

      I hope this helps.

  47. pen

    Hi! I am just wondering if having the name of my baby’s father in the birth certificate will complicate things for me and for the kid in the future. Obviously, the father and I are not married and right now we’re not in good terms. I’m just thinking ahead.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Pen: In some cases, the father’s acknowledgment in the child’s birth certificate can make it difficult to obtain a foreign visa for the minor child. An actual example is one I recently assisted in the French embassy. Foreign laws are different from Philippine laws and even with a minor child’s illegitimate status, the French embassy still required proof of the mother’s right of custody (which is a court order) because the reviewing officer noted that the father acknowledged the child. Also, I have encountered teen-aged children who resented their father’s abandonment of their mother and wished they never had to carry the absentee father’s surname. Unfortunately, it is not as easy to change a surname later as this requires a petition in court with the attendant costs and hassles of court hearings. I hope this helps.

  48. pen

    a follow up question atty. t dad of my soon to be baby is an american. will this be a problem (in terms of claiming citizenship) if i dont disclose the name of the father in the birth certificate. just thinking ahead. my baby might want to claim the citizenship for all the positivity it can bring. thank you so much for the help

    1. Atty, Post author

      Pen: Then you’ll have to choose– the right to claim citizenship or absence of hassle in migrating or traveling abroad. Of course, to claim citizenship, your baby’s birth has to be recorded under American immigration laws; you will surely have to state the father’s name.

  49. Allan B

    Hello Atty, my ex-wife took my eldest daughter last June 25 from my parent’s home without my approval. My daughter is enrolled in a private kindergarten school but she told my mom, that she’ll just transfer her in a different school near her place. I was at work when she took out daughter. Just last Tue, DSWD made me turnover my youngest 2yr old daughter to my ex-wife (we’re still married). After the turnover, I’m not able to reach her through her cellphone anymore. I plan to file for custody of my 2girls really soon, My concern right now is that I want to get my daughters back, while I take the custody case to family court. but would I be charged with kidnapping if I take my 2 daughters from her now? Would that action be taken against me even if I’m the biological father?

    Thank you for your advice again Atty. God bless you.

    Allan B

    1. Atty. Post author

      Allan: I strongly suggest that you file your petition for custody first and not take the law into your own hands in the meantime or your case may become complicated. Bear in mind, however, that children below 7 years of age are usually left under the custody of their mothers unless you can show compelling reasons for depriving her of custody. But you will still have to wait for the court to issue an order in your favor before taking physical custody over your kids. Consult a lawyer and ask for the proper petition to be filed including a request (also known as a prayer) for visitation rights in the meantime while the petition is pending. That way, you are able to see your children. I hope this helps.

  50. john

    atty. the mother of my baby agreed to give me the custody of our baby.i have the voluntary custody agreement she made and signed. how can we start the process and where can we find lawyer specialize in parental custody?thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      John: How about the lawyer who drafted the custody agreement for you? He or she would make a good choice.

  51. desiery

    good day atty.
    i have a half american daughter which is not using her fathers name
    my friend told me that i can file for a child support in the US Embassy
    but he did not sign the birth cert when i gave birth since he said needs to be done the DNA test blah blah and she needs to be registered as soon as possible so i decided to not put his name anymore…
    now can i go to US Embassy to seek help even he didnt sign the birth cert and my daughter is not carrying his name… thank you

    pls help me

    1. Atty Post author

      Desiery: Ordinarily, anyone claiming child support must be able to show proof or acknowledgment of paternity, most often indicated on the certificate of live birth. Assuming that you are able to file a claim for child support against the father, your child may have to undergo DNA paternity testing first for the issue to be resolved. It would save you a lot of trouble and expense if you communicate in a positive way with the biological father and convince him to acknowledge her in an affidavit notarized and authenticated in the US and for him to agree to provide support voluntarily. With an acknowledgment and support document, the US embassy may be able to entertain your request for assistance in case he fails to provide child support. I hope this helps.

  52. crazy_vian

    Atty. I have a question. I’m married but separated. My husband is now living w/ his new family. After my separation w/ my husband, I had an affair w/ a married man. Now I’m pregnant. I want my child to carry his father’s surname ( the married man ) but he refused to recognize the child because of fear that his wife will know about it. Can I still use the surname of my child’s father? If I ask my brother to sign at the back of the birth certificate in behalf of my child’s father. What should I do?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Crazy_vian: Unfortunately, if the child’s father does not sign the acknowledgment of paternity appearing on the back of the Certificate of Live Birth, your child cannot use his surname. No other person can sign the paternity acknowledgment except the biological father himself. I understand the situation you are in, but the acknowledgment can really be taken against your married partner, if found by the legal wife. Without the biological father’s acknowledgment, your child will bear your maiden last name and NO middle name or initial. I hope this helps.

  53. crazy_vian

    What if the Certificate of Live Birth was signed by another person posting to be my child’s father ( ie. forged his signature )? Will there be any legal complications in the registration of my child’s birth?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Crazy_vian: It’s a criminal act to falsify information on a public document such as a Certificate of Live Birth. And it may result in complications later for your child who may end up with discrepancies in his/her surname. Most hospital administrations require proof of identification (photo ID bearing signature) of the illegitimate father. I would not suggest forging his signature in this case.

  54. crazy_vian

    Thanks Atty. I just feel sorry for my child. Is there anything I could do to fight for the right of my child for his father’s support and acknowledgment?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Crazy_vian: At least, try to get the father to sign a separate Affidavit of Acknowledgment of Paternity when the child is born. Right now, if the child is unborn, then there is nothing to acknowledge yet. Your child will be entitled to support (after his birth) and hopefully, the father will voluntarily provide support; otherwise, by then, you may have to take more concrete steps such as filing a petition for support in court. Bear in mind, that without an express acknowledgment, you may have to go through DNA paternity testing first should the father deny paternity. A court case can get messy for his family, if his legal wife is not yet aware of your pregnancy. That would be sad for everyone. I hope for the best in your situation. Have a safe delivery.

  55. crazy_vian

    Thank you so much Atty. You’ve been a big help. I hope that after I give birth and will be needing legal assistance in case my child’s father stands by his decision not to acknowledge our child, you can be our lawyer. More power and God bless you.

  56. shazcreations

    Dear Atty,

    I am a mother of a 10 year old boy. When I gave birth here in Australia, I was not a Permanent Resident or Australian citizen. Thus, my child is Filipino. I was not legally married to his father. Thus, in his birth certificate, I am the only parent. However, there was a time that the father came back to me and to father to our son. But he left and married another woman and never give support to our child. But before he left, he put his name as the father to my child in the birth certificate. However, in Sydney Philippine Embassy, I reported my child birth as illegitimate and without father. Would this complicate?

    Because of hardship of working and a single mom, I left my child to my mother in Philippines. Now, I want to get my son and live here with me in Australia.

    The Australian immigration is asking for Court a certified copy of the court order giving me sole legal right to determine where the child shall live or the right to permanently remove the child from the country and give permission for the child to migrate permanently.

    How much would it cost me to get this court order documents? And what documents are needed to furnish the court order?

    Please respond.

    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Shazcreations: Under Philippine laws (Art. 176 of the Family Code) the mother is given sole parental authority over her illegitimate child. A court order is generally not necesssary. Try submitting an affidavit of illegitimacy and a certified copy of the law providing sole parental authority of an illegitimate child to the mother. If you can reach the biological father, try as well to ask him to execute an agreement allowing you to have sole custody and to migrate with you. Bear in mind that any document executed by the father abroad will have to be authenticated in the Philippine embassy where the document is going to be executed. I hope this helps.

  57. cyrus

    I have a daughter with my xGF she is now 8 yrs old and we named her and agreed to use my xGFs surname..
    I’ve acknowledge the child and signed the birth certificate. we were not married.
    I know that the mother has the right over the child, but what will happen now that my xGF died?
    My daughter is now at the custody of my xGF’s parents.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cyrus: You may file a petition for sole custody citing the death of the child’s mother or file a petition to adopt your illegitimate daughter.

      1. cyrus

        before I file legal actions, my parents went to my Xgfs house and ask if they (my parents) could have my daughter for the weekend, they didnt let them.. are they not entitled to the right spend time with my daughter too? what if my xgfs parents were granted sole custody by the court.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Cyrus: Grandparents are not entitled to visitation under the law. What you can do to allow your parents to spend time with your daughter is to obtain visitation rights for yourself and use that time to fetch your daughter and bring her to your parents.

  58. JADE

    My husban has 2 children to his girlfriend, but his girlfriend is married to other guy…they live together for 4 years… My husband didn’t acknowledge their first child bec he is out of the country, his girlfriend signed the child live birth without my husband consent… Then their second child came out, my husband acknowledge the child..They were now separated, then we got married, Does my husband was obliged to support their 2 children?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jade: If your husband knows that he has fathered those 2 children with his former girlfriend, then I suggest that he support them voluntarily. The acknowledgment only reinforces the children’s right to support which exists even if the father does not sign the acknowledgment (such as in the case of the first child). You see, if your husband avoids providing support simply because he has not signed the acknowledgment on the first child’s birth certificate, the mother may file a case for recognition and support. I hope this helps.

  59. kzeel

    Hi Atty! Does the mother have the right to deprive the father of borrowing their illegitimate child? Would you please clarify as to what comprises visitation rights of a father over his illegitimate child? Does it only allow the father to literally visit his child or can he also borrow him so the child can also spend time with his grandparents?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kzeel: There is no hard and fast rule about visitation. Reasonable visitation is generally granted to the father, not to the grandparents although courts usually ask the mothers to allow some time for the grandparents to bond with the illegitimate children. Initially, the father should try to negotiate a regular visitation schedule with the mother and it is only when both parents are unable to agree that the father can go to court on a petition asking for visitation. From experience, the judge will consider the age and needs of the child when deciding the terms of visitation. For e.g. a child under 2 years old is highly dependent on his or her mother, so the judge may limit the visit to the mother’s home and for a few hours. An older child is usually allowed more time. Depending on the reasons for the mother’s objection to visitation, the judge may consider giving more or less time to the father. I hope this helps.

  60. lynne

    Hi Atty, my boyfriend has a 7 years old son.He was not married to the mother of his son but he was the one looking after his son for 3 years now..The mother doesnt even dare to visit the boy but now she come back and wanted the custody of their son..Does my boyfriend have the right to fight for the custody of his son? He became the mother and the father of his son for 3 years so he was so devastated when the mother of his son just suddenly made a desicion to own the custody of their son..Please advice us what to do..thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lynne: Ordinarily, an illegitimate child is placed under the mother’s custody. The child’s father will have to go to court and claim custody against the mother and cite serious reasons why she should not be granted custody. Some grounds for depriving the mother of custody include: neglect, abandonment, drug addiction, immorality, and physical abuse. If none of these apply to her case, then I suggest that the child’s father initiate discussion regarding JOINT custody, where they will share times (e.g. 3 days with the mother, 4 days with the father). The mother should be able to understand that drastic changes in the child’s environment can cause be disturbing or stressful for the child, so shared parenting is best here. I hope this helps.

  61. Jie

    Hello Atty. Florido,

    My Sister is currently employed abroad and has left her 9-year old child with our parents. My sister and the child’s father, who is unemployed for two years I guess, are unmarried. Apparently, my niece’s father is claiming custody rights over her.

    1. Would the custody be given to my niece’s father, given the fact that my sister is working abroad and my niece’s father is unemployed and has no other source of income and does not support the child financially?
    2. What may be our legal bases to keep the custody of the child within my parents/sister.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jie: The mother has sole parental authority over the illegitimate child. If she is abroad due to work, then her absence is merely temporary and that cannot be taken against. I suggest that she execute an affidavit stating her intention to delegate parental authority to the child’s maternal grandparents and aunt while she is abroad. I also suggest that she keep all records of remittances to the Philippines, receipts of expenses incurred by the child, bank deposits if any, copies of communications to the child or phone records, just to prevent any claim of abandonment or neglect. Given that the child’s father has no visible means of support, a case for custody is doubtful. If he does manage to initiate a case for custody in court, ask a lawyer to represent the mother and file a motion for support in the same case. (wink)

  62. Karen

    Hi Atty.
    My brother has a 7-year old son from his gf before. They were never married and now the son has been living with us. Her mom has been away for quite some time (living in Palawan with this new boyfriend, neglects responsibilities to her son (financial and emotional support). My brother and his ex remain friends though. We are trying to get a passport for my nephew but one of the requirements is that the mother should accompany my nephew. The problem is the mom would not be able to go back to Manila anytime soon. Is there any legal document we can submit to DFA? FYI, the mom gives full consent to us for sole custody of my nephew.
    thanks in advance.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Karen: The child’s mother is the only one who can claim the child’s passport at the DFA. Your brother may have to shoulder her travel expenses to Manila just to get the child’s passport. That is the fastest way. On another note, since the child’s mother has given her consent to turn over sole custody, your brother may want to consider adopting his illegitimate son to obtain solid and legal proof of this. This will elevate the child’s status to something similar to a legitimate child and avoid other problems (in the future) which may stem from having to get the mother’s consent. I hope this helps.

  63. jenny

    i have 3and half year old illegimate daughter….i live in india and father is britsh citizen…….my daughter even holds british passport and on birth certificate biological father name and surname………i win the custody case and sole custody was given to me and father given only visitation rights………….father has approach to india high court for custody……..i want to change my daughter surname and middle name ……to my name and surname is it possible…………if the custody proceedings are going on high court…… i need to get permission from court if i want to migrate to canada…….though lower court have given me sole custody……….i am in too much tension bcoz father is nasty man…….he abducted my child ………through england high court i was able to bring my child to india and london court order to indian court to decide custody of child bcoz i was not having uk visa……..(plz give me reply through mail only)

    1. Webmaster Post author

      Hi, Jenny. You’ll have to consult a lawyer who is authorised to practise India family law since your case may be filed in India.

  64. abigail

    Hi,I would like to know how to terminate my husband’s rights to his illegitimate child? What are my rights to protect my family? What if I don’t want my husband to have any relations to this child? is this possible? Our situation and relationship to my husband’s former gf was ok. until one time that i was sleeping with my son, my husband’s son ( 5 years old) and my husband, i heard my son crying (who was a month old that time) because his brother(my husbands illegitimate son) was covering his nose. and i asked him why he did that and he said that he was told by his relatives(mother side) to do such crime. and he also asked my husband “daddy bad ba si baby??dba hnd naman bad si baby? kasi sabi nila bad si baby kaya takpan ko daw ilong”. after that i decided that we wont visit nor borrow my husband’s son to protect my child from any possible harm. if i cant terminate my husband’s relationship or rights to his illegitimate son, what else can i do to obtain justice for my son? can we file for sole custody so that when the child stays with us we will be able to teach him right things? or can i file any case against them for what they taught to my my husbands son??

    1. Atty. Post author

      Abigail: You can’t legally terminate relationship between your husband and his illegitimate son but you can tell your husband about the situation and ask him to limit the visitation to just day visits or for a few hours at a time. All blended families undergo some adjustment and maybe the illegitimate child just needs time to learn to accept the new half brother. It could also be due to the negative influence that the illegitimate child is exposed to at home but it will not help to totally cut off ties between the father and child if there is a way to limit the other child’s exposure to your baby temporarily.

      The mother of an illegitimate child is ordinarily given the sole parental authority over her child. Filing for sole custody may not be the solution to your problem as you may only make it worse by forcing the illegitimate child to accept you and his half brother. You may also want to let the father bond with his son separately for a few hours and then return the illegitimate child to his mother without letting the child sleep over.

      I hope this helps.

  65. Nilo C

    Good day Sir,

    I’m in a bind right. My girlfriend is pregnant for 3 months and we’ve been fighting to keep the baby. I feel that I shouldn’t kill the baby. Somehow the mother wanted me to agree in killing it.

    I never wanted to. We were there at the abortionist (surprisingly we were able to find one here in the Philippines. ). I threw a fit and stopped the abortionist from doing it. The abortionist backed out. The relationship was over afterwards. I just couldn’t bare the thought of killing my first to-be born child.

    I want to get full custody of the kid. It’s because the mother never really wanted the baby. It’s only me fighting for its right to live in this world.

    My questions are:

    1. Can I file for a custody case for the kid since she attempted to kill it in the first place. I have proof that she did.

    2. What are the chances of winning.

    3. According to some, I should file an injunction to keep her from hurting the baby. i.e. possible abortion attempts, smoking, can help me in my case.

    Any advises?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Nilo: 1. If the baby is already born, then being illegitimate, his or her mother has the right of sole parental authority. If you acknowledged the child at birth, then you may be entitled to reasonable visitation rights.
      2. Custody cases between the father and mother of an illegitimate child are generally won by the mother because the law grants such right to the mother alone. The abortion attempt may not necessarily be a compelling reason for depriving the mother of her child unless you can prove further instances of physical abuse on the baby.

      If the child is not yet born, it’s best to remain supportive of the pregnancy so as not to give the mother any reasons to end her pregnancy. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines but there is no law prohibiting mothers from smoking when pregnant although she should know the ill effects of doing so.

  66. Nicole

    Hi Atty.!

    I have a question regarding my son. He is 7 years old right now and turning 8 on Feb. 24. He is living in his dad’s side. I want to sponsor him here in Canada but they are looking for custody from his dad. Unfortunately he doesnt want to sign the paper saying that he is allowing my son to come here. They dont want to give my son anymore. I tried to talked to them nicely but they said they will not give me my son. I been working outside the philippines for his future and know it seems that i will not get him easily. Do i have the full custody of my son? My ex boyfriend had been to drug rehabilitation center and unemployed since i we have our son. I was the one who work and pay for his allowance and tuition fee and hospital expenses. How can i get my son? How long does the processing could take? I hope you can help me with this.


    1. Atty. Post author

      Nicole: There is no easy way to obtain custody unless the child’s father cooperates with you. In this case, you may have to file a petition for sole custody in court. If the child is illegitimate, the law generally grants sole parental authority to the mother. However, you will have to return to the Philippines in order to file your case and attend hearings. So, I suggest that you work on negotiating a voluntary custody agreement with your ex first so that you can go to court and have it approved in a few hearings– this saves time. It may take some time for the child’s father to understand that migrating abroad is for the child’s benefit but it may happen if you give them time to think of the life that awaits your child. If things are heated right now, just step back and avoid engaging them in an argument. But if you have the chance to write the child’s paternal side, then explain in positive terms what good it will do for the child to move with you abroad. I hope this helps.

  67. Nilo


    another question: can i have her waive her right as a mother because we talked about it and the mother clearly says that she doesnt want the baby…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Nilo: A parent with a right of custody (such as mother of an illegitimate child) may not be deprived of custody through a written waiver. Even if the mother voluntarily entrusts the child to you, she can regain custody at any time after that if she changes her mind. The solution is to wait for the mother to give birth and then have her give up her baby for adoption. And then you can adopt her child and eventually obtain custody legally.

  68. Nick

    Hi Attorney,

    I have a daughter. Her mom, we’re unmarried, is in Malaysia. I wanna get my kid a passport for our international travel next year. My kid’s using my family name and i am the registered father. any chances of me being able to obtain passport on my ex’s bahalf?


    1. Atty. Post author

      Nick: Only the child’s mother may obtain her passport.

  69. lady

    i got pregnant at the age of 16, the father was acknowledged in our daughter’s birth certificate,and we were not married at that time. we got married when i turned 21, under parental consent. a month after we got married we ended the relationship. he is now filing for annulment, i’m still trying to finish my studies, and my daughter is under the care of my family.He provided financial support for the passed years but stopped for almost a year now. i am unemployed. is he going to have custody of our child?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lady: Children under 7 years of age are generally placed under the custody of the mother. The father may file a petition for custody but he will have to cite compelling reasons for the court to turn over custody to him. I suggest that you continue living with your child even if you are unemployed and comply with your other obligations to care and nurture her, to counter any claim of abandonment and neglect on your part.

  70. Mia

    hello,i have a six year old daughter born here in he Philippines but acquired American citizenship when she reached 3. Her father and I were never married but he acknowledged our child. He is already married. in two school years he haven’t helped me in supporting and providing our child’s needs like her schooling and etc. I emailed him and asking for support but he just always say he got no enough money. So I let that passed. Now that I’m in a relationship and I wanted to bring my daughter with me in a vacation I asked letter of consent from him but he just ignored me. So then I decided just for him to give me the full custody for our child so I won’t need to bother him forever when it comes to our daughter’s concern coz he doesn’t cooperate anyway. But then he told me that he will just get my daughter from me and that he has more rights over our daughter coz he is the American Father and he just want to take my daughter off from me. My question is this Atty. after almost two years of not receiving any support from him and all the arguments like he disowning our child and asking me not to ever bother him again , does he has more right over our daughter as the American Father that he is saying?Would I be able to bring my daughter with me abroad without the father’s consent? And what should I do if I really need a consent but the father refuses to give a letter? Hope you could help me. Thank’s in advance.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mia: You can travel abroad with your daughter without the father’s consent although applying for an immigrant visa elsewhere is another matter. The mere travel (on tour) is allowed but immigration officers in other countries usually require proof of right of custody. But this is not your situation, if I understand your query correctly.

      I am assuming that your child is illegitimate and under our laws, the sole parental authority over an illegitimate child is placed upon the mother. The father may be entitled to reasonable visitation rights and may be obliged to pay support. I hope this helps.

  71. Fred

    I have a friend who is a single mother to an illegitimate Child. The child is with her and occasionally being sent to his father’s house thru his mom (grandmother). The father is already married and still studying, so is still dependent to his parents. My friend is still in college and also dependent to her mom. Essentially both grandparents are the ones shouldering the child’s expenses as of now But the parents of the kid’s dad has advised my friend that the support might soon stop. Is there any chance that she can demand for a child support given the situation of her child’s dad?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Fred: If the child’s father is unable to support, it is possible to demand support temporarily from the father’s parents (child’s grandparents).

  72. rkqc

    hi atty!

    i have a 6 year old son carrying my his father’s surname. will this be a problem obtaining a korean visa? we are planning on going there for a week this february, so we have a little over a month to get a visa. my filipina friend, who invited us and is now a korean citizen, will be coming to the philippines this january to assist us in getting the visa. i have all the requirements, i am just worried about the fact that he has his father’s surname. what other documents should i have with me just in case?

    thanks so much! all of the comments and answers have been very enlightening. this is the first time i have seen this site, and i will be visiting more often. thank you and more power! 🙂

    1. Atty. Post author

      rkqc: Ordinarily, a temporary visa to enter as a tourist in another country will not have restrictive requirements if the child is going to be accompanied by one of his parents. You will still need to show the usual documents proving your child’s identity, i.e. NSO birth certificate and perhaps an Affidavit of Illegitimacy, if he is illegitimate, to establish his status. If you have a custody agreement with his father, you may also want to bring that with you, just in case you are requested to show proof of right of custody (but not likely for tourist visas). I hope this helps.

  73. willy

    can a mother can be deprived of child’s custody if she is trying to abort the baby and she is unemployed?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Willy: In a case of child custody, the child must first be born before any case for custody can arise. If the child has already been born, and the mother continues to neglect the child or worse, abandons the child, then that may be a cause for depriving her of custody.

  74. Rhea M

    hello atty:

    i need your advice..the situation is during my relationship before which is now my husband..i mean relationship as boyfriend/girlfriends his havung affair too another women in addition to this when he went for 1 mos. vacation to phiplippines that time we still not married and his long time ex-gf which also his sister bestfriend having sex affair for that period of 1 mos then as per my husband before he come back here they went to doctor and confirm the girl was pregnant but i came to know this after 8mos. it was like april 7 reach to ph my boyfriend that time and back to uae on may 7 then jan 7 the girl born the baby then from that the girl ensisting that the baby was my bf child and my bf has no choice to give support after sometimes afterward when the girl born on jan.7 on the same year we having an agreement bcoz my bf saythat it is not his child then we got married then after year back again the issue start that the mother of the child asking for support.

    in this case, my husband didnt sign any paper of acceptance before for that child and now i want to ask since we are not sure if it is my husband child or not and if ever this is my husband child but no acceptance what will be the procedure and what is the proper computation of the support since now i have to kids and beside the property of mine was comes like conjugal properties what is my right as a wife and my kids right.hows is the computation will may go..also those property which is already in my child name can be included?if ever he is my husband illegitimate child? pls help me..ty..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rhea: The amount of support for your husband’s illegitimate child depends on the needs of the child and the financial resources of your husband. I suggest that you ask the child’s mother to provide your husband a list of the child’s usual or regular expenses for you to determine how much the child needs monthly. Children are not allowed to own properties yet in their names, and it is only your husband who is obliged to pay support, unless he is unable to provide temporarily, in which case you may advance the amount and later on collect it from him. I hope this helps.

  75. Rhea M

    atty; 1 more question please how about the needs of this child was too much more than what i expect, what is the proper % or share of ligitimate and illigitimate child? as you said that the financial resources through father earning please estate to me the share of each…thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rhea: There is no sharing or percentage rule in computing child support under existing laws, unlike the law on inheritance where legitimate children are entitled to a higher share than the illegitimate child’s. The father has to find a way to meet all his children’s needs and to perhaps negotiate with the child’s mother for a pro-rated or lower amount, explaining what his current capacity can provide. I hope this helps.

  76. maribel

    my brother and her girlfriend has a 1 year old child.ever since the girl is pregnant with 9 months until she gave mother was the one supporting her.coz he told my brother she wants to abort the child in her parents told her that pls dont abort, we will support u and the now she wants to get the child away from my parents.what will i do.if we will seek for the custody of the child,can we win it?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Maribel: The law is clear about the right of the mother of an illegitimate child. Between the child’s mother and the grandparents, the court will most likely grant custody to the child’s mother.

  77. bella

    Hi Atty,

    I have a 9 years old son, carrying his father last name, his father and I are not married and we already broke up, I’m working abroad right now for almost 4years, my parents look after my son, and I send money monthly for financial of my son, but some of the week end or holidays and school vacation my son go to the mother of his father, since I’m working abroad the father of my son doesnt give any financial support to my son even he is working. I apply for permanent recident here and i include my son to my application if my application will be approve, can i bring my son here, without the consent of his father?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bella: If your son’s birth certificate indicates that his father is “Unknown”, then it may be possible to have your son reside abroad without his father’s consent. If the birth certificate names his father, some immigration authorities still require a court order or some other proof showing your right of custody. In many cases, this may mean getting the father’s written consent. I suggest that you inquire about the specific requirements for the appropriate visa you intend to apply for your son, from the immigration office which will handle your application. I hope this helps.

  78. xxxchrizxxx

    hello…what if my child got a british passport..wer now living in thailand..and im a filipina…with a british dad…but actually my daughter was born in the philippines…she’s illegitimate..and she’s not really his daughter..he claimed her as we got married in the philippines…im planning to take my daughter away from him…wer going to escape away from thailand…do u think he can file a motion against me…and get my daughter…?

    1. Atty. Post author

      xxxchrizxxx: Your husband may file a case for kidnapping against you and stop you from leaving the country. It would have been different if he was not made to appear as the child’s father in her legal papers, as a mother has sole parental authority over her illegitimate child.

  79. ibeth husband has a 7year old illegitimate child to her husband and i are currently residing in canada…we gave a monthly allowance to his son but the mother of his son wanted a higher a allowance than the usually…is there any possibilities to discontinue his son’s allowance?…is there any possibilities to get his son’s custody?…the mother of the child doesnt have any job and the sibling of the mother of the child are into drugs who leaves w/them right now because my husband’s son and ex-gf are leaving in her parents…

    1. Atty. Post author

      ibeth: The illegitimate child of your husband is entitled to support and the amount of support may be adjusted according to the needs of the child. It is possible that the child needs a higher amount considering his growing needs and the rising cost of living. Discontinuing financial support may expose your husband to a legal case which is most likely going to be granted by a judge. Your husband can obtain custody from the child’s mother if she voluntarily consents to legal adoption. I hope this helps.

  80. che

    hi atty,
    meron poakong anak sa una kong asawa, nagkahiwalay po kme noong 2005 dahil s pambababe nya at naiwan sa akin ang aming anak na babae at ngaun po ay 7 yrs old na, pro leagally separated npo kme,,dpo xa nagbigay ng financial support s bata mula nung kme naghiwalay,,after that nagkaron po aq ng karelasyon after 4 yrs at nagkaron po ng 1 anak n ngaun po ay 2 yrs old at nk apleyido po s ama nya, but sad to say di rin nagwork ang relationship nmin kz nalaman ko na mamas boy xa,,,gusto ko po sn itanong kong may posibilidad na madala ko po dto s canada ang mga anak ko pagdating ng araw, ofw po aq dto s canada at ngayoy mag 2 yrs npo aq dto, ang mga anak ko po pansamantalang ns mga magulang ko,,,ano po dpt gawin pr madala ko mga anak ko dto balang araw,,,

    1. Atty. Post author

      Che: I suggest that you file a petition for sole custody over your legitimate child to obtain a court order in your favor. Other countries ordinarily require a court order as proof of the mother’s right of custody when applying for resident visas. As regards your illegitimate child, I suggest that you ask the child’s father to sign an agreement stating that he allows you to maintain sole custody and agrees that the child may travel and live abroad with you. For the illegitimate child, you may have to prepare an Affidavit of Illegitimacy and a certification of the law on illegitimate child custody together with the father’s agreement to migrate and live abroad. I suggest that you obtain a list of document requirements from the immigration authorities where you intend to file the visa application and get a lawyer to prepare the legal documents. I hope this helps.

  81. Chie

    I have 5 years relationship with my boyfriend. But the problem is that he had a child with his friend. It happened while were our 4th year of relationship. And now, he decided to tell me the truth about his child. Despite of this, im still willing to marry him. Do the girl (mother of his child) has the right to my boyfriend? Can we still marry each other? Legally? They don’t have any relationship. It’s just happen that she is the mother of the child. My boyfriend is willing to give financial support to the child. Just a support. No more no less. The girl is demanding like she want to be with my boyfriend or something like leave-in. My boyfriend is not in favor of that and so as me too. We’re getting marry soon. Please help me. Thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Chie : I suggest that your boyfriend settle the matter of child support before you get married so that the mother of his illegitimate child cannot file a case against him for non payment of support and disturb the start of your marriage. She cannot force your boyfriend to live with her or even marry her because of the child. But he will have to provide child support voluntarily and regularly so that she does not have any ground to sue him. In giving support, please advise your boyfriend to keep all copies of deposit slips or checks made in favor of the child’s mother as payment of support, or to have her sign an written acknowledgment that she has received support from him. This will help later if she complains that support has not been paid. I hope this helps.

  82. Lele

    Atty. I am a Social Worker, I have this case where in the wife is working abroad and the husband was also an ofw. their 6 year old child was left under the care of the wife’s mother. Lately the relationship of the couple tinted with jealousy and bad words , they decided to separte. Now the husband quit his work abroad and planning to take their child to another province. My questions are: 1. Can the father take their child away from the wife’s mother? 2) Can the wife’s mother be the legal guardian of the child even the wife is working abroad? how will they do it. Thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lele: Since the child involved in this situation is a legitimate child, both parents exercise JOINT parental authority. This means that the father has a right to take the child away from the child’s maternal grandparents because the legitimate father’s right is higher than the grandparent’s. If the mother wishes to stop the child’s father from taking him away, she must file a petition for sole custody of her child alleging the situation between them and asserting the maternal preference rule that legitimate children below 7 years of age are placed under the mother’s custody. Without this action,the grandparents will not have any legal ground to stop the child’s father from obtaining physical custody while the mother is away. I hope this helps.

      1. benji

        in the same scenario but the child is illegitimate and uses his father’s surname? can the father take the childs custody?

      2. Atty. Post author

        Benji: Based on limited facts, the general rule is that illegitimate children are under the sole parental authority of the mother. This does not change even when the father acknowledges paternity and the child uses his surname. If the mother is abroad temporarily, then she can legally delegate parental authority to her parents, and that may not be considered abandonment. I hope this helps.

  83. justud

    I’m US citizen living in US. Met my a filipina and eventually she got pregnant. We are now engaged. Our son was born a few months ago and I have signed all paperwork as him being my son. He also has my surname. Our intentions are to do K2 visa and bring them to the states. I been supporting them finanically for since she got pregnant. If she decides not to come to states, what rights do I have to try and gain custody of our son?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Atty. Post author

      Justud: Unless you are married to the child’s mother, your rights are limited to reasonable visitation. Any attempt at legally obtaining custody in court may meet legal obstacles such as the provision of law which gives the illegitimate child’s mother sole parental authority, and the general provisions which gives preference to the mother of children under 7 years of age.

      1. Justud

        So there would be any consideration if i could provide the child a better life?

      2. Atty. Post author

        Justud: Even if you can provide the child a better life, if the mother does not willingly turn over custody, Philippine law on illegitimate children favors the mother. The only effect of the argument that the child’s father can provide a better life for the child is that the child may then be entitled to a higher amount of support consistent with the father’s financial capacity as stated.

  84. Michael

    Hello Atty
    I am in a jam my wife has a daughter with her ex-partner they weren’t married the child is now 6 years old i have supported the child for over three years the father hasn’t contributed to her bring up, schooling food and clothing, we have tried to contacted him so here can see her on skype but he says he wants to see her but never shows up on the net. nor those he call her or send a small gift on her birthday.

    I married my wife and have a child as well with her I live in Australia they are in the Phillippines and they require the fathers permission to allow her to travel to Australia to reside, I asked him if its ok for,her to reside here hesitated but agreed, when it was time he refused.
    I am not a rich man and can not afford a long court battle as I am not working for the last 12 months I have 4 children all girls and i never wanted to take her away from her father they live in septate provinces i would pay for her to travel every two years to see him over the school holiday so they could have a relationship and get to know each other. but he wont listen to us. we cant leave her with her parents as i dont believe they are in a good state to look after her. and my wife did give him a chance to look after her in the early day of the separation but word got out that he wasn’t looking after her well I believe he has a drinking habit but dont quote me on that at this stage just roomers for now.
    what should i do to have my wife’s daughter live with us in Australia? please

    1. Atty. Post author

      Michael: Since the child is illegitimate, I assume that the immigration authorities in Australia will be satisfied in seeing a written and notarized consent executed by the child’s father. In which case, it may be possible for someone (like a lawyer) to get in touch with the child’s father here and request for a meeting to discuss the possible written consent, explaining that it is to the child’s best interest to be with her mother, etc. Some fathers start out being uncooperative especially since the thought of not having ready access to their children can be scary. For some, it is just their bruised ego that prevents them from cooperating right away although some eventually relent (perhaps just to show that they put up some resistance before letting the child go). But if the father still refuses to cooperate in this case, then the child’s mother may have to go through the whole process of filing a case for child custody against the father. It may not be as long and as drawn out as the usual custody case between spouses because the Family Code of the Philippines generally grants the mother of an illegitimate child sole parental authority. It may just be a matter of formality, in your wife’s case. I hope this helps.

  85. Ben

    Hi Atty,
    First I’d like to acknowledge you generosity in providing advises to us people in need for free. I’m pretty sure from these advises, many of us are now enjoying their happily ever after.

    Scenario: My partner who’s in the US have a 13yo daughter in the Phils, from birth till now she’s been supporting her with her basic needs, only 2years ago that she needs to leave for the US. The father has minimal or no contact at all with the child, although my partner has welcomed the child’s grandparents(father side) to take her once in a while before but not for the past 4 years as they’ve stopped visiting or even contacting my partner to visit the child, and the father as i understand, is nowhere to be found.

    We’re planning to move here in OZ in the very near future taking the child with us.

    1. We found out that her marriage to the child’s father was null & void as her previous marriage was not annulled. making the child illegitimate.

    2. What is the acceptable document/s thatcan be provided or obtained to prove sole custody of the child for my partner.
    3. Can the father apply for a Departure Hold againts the child.

    Any insight and guidance with this query is greatly appreciated.

    GOD Bless you Atty. for the excellent work you do…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ben: Under the situation, it may be necessary for your partner to file a petition in court asking for sole custody over the child. Most immigration authorities require a court order as proof of the parent’s right of custody. The child’s father may ask for a hold departure order in connection with a pending custody case, but considering the absence of communication or effort to connect with the child, I doubt that the father will even appear in the case for custody.

  86. arlene

    hi, I would like to consult about my niece, she’s an illegitimate child, her mother went abroad and left the child with his father who’s living with us. The mother is still abroad, we received a notice from the law office about petition for custody, the complainant’s name is the mother’s name.
    Question 1: is it valid for the mother to file a petition for custody if she’s abroad?
    Question 2: can the father (my brother) have the rights for the child’s custody since the mother whiile she’s abroad and have not left a legal arrangement about the custody before she left?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Arlene: Illegitimate children are under the sole parental authority of their mothers. The temporary absence of the mother does not have the legal effect of depriving her of custody as she may delegate it temporarily to her mother or immediate family member.

  87. Arthur

    Dear Atty.
    Ako po ay may anak at d kasado sa kanyang ina, Mula noong kami ay nagkawalay ay tinatago na nila sa akin ang bata.Alam ko naman po ang kanyang karapatan bilang ina ng aming wala akong balak na kunin ang bata sa kanya. sa akin lang po na sana ay d niya ipagkait ang karapatan ko bilang ama.Ang gusto ko lang po sana na payagan nila ako ng oras para makipag bomding sa anak ko. at maipasyal ko sa bahay namin ang mamonitor ang kalagayan ng bata lalo nat alam na alam ko kong mga lasengo sila magkapamilya.pati ang nang bata ay umiinom kahit na napadidi sa bata. Pareho po kaming walang trabaho at akoy umaasa lang sa kunting lupain ng aking ina na aking pinamahala,at sa tulong tulong mula sa aking ama na US marine. At lahat ng gamit ng bata galing sa daddy ko (US) .
    Atty. sa sosunod na po na linggo ang napagkasunduan namin ( ina ng bata) na binyagan ang bata.kaso di ko na siya mahagilap.marami ang nagsasabi na nandoon lang sila sa bahay nila.tkot naman po akong sunduin sila dahil sa banta nang kanyang mga kaanak na tatadtarin nila ako pag makita nila ako sa lugar nila.
    Ito ang tanong ko Atty.
    1 Maari ko ba silang piltin na ipalitaw ang bata at magkaroon kami ng pantay na bilang ng araw kung saan matulog ang bata?
    2. May laban kaya ako sa custody sa bata kahit na maliit lang ang kita ko at umaasa lang sa mga magulang ko?
    3. Ano ano ba ang karapatan ko bilang ama sa bata?
    4.Minsan ko nang naitakbo ang bata pabalik sa aming bahay nang maring kong balak akong patayin ng kanyang ama.Makasuhan ba ako ng kidnapping sa pagbitbit ko sa aking anak?ayon sa sabi nila?
    Atty. tulungan mo po ako, ang mga problema kong ito ay d kona pinaabut sa mommy ko (na kakalabas lang kaninang umaga mula sa ospital) at daddy parating narin ang mga magiging ninong at ninang ko mula sa US pero ang anak ko ay di ko pa mahagilap.
    Pagpasensihan nyo na po ang mga sulat kong ito na palihim kong ginagawa para d mabasa ng mommy ko.At kinukulit na nya po ako kung bakit d nakadalaw ang kanyang apo.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Arthur: You are entitled to reasonable visitation rights, not child custody, because you are not married to the child’s mother. “Reasonable visitation” means a schedule that will depend on the age and special needs of the child. In this case, if the child is still an infant or younger than one year old, then you may not insist on having overnight visits as a child that young needs his/her mother, more particularly if the child is breastfed. You may ask for a regular schedule, perhaps a few hours per weekend and this may change as the child grows older. If you already have a history of attempting to take away custody from the child’s mother without going through proper court proceedings, then it is understandable how the child’s mother will not easily grant you visitation. In which case, you may have to go to court and ask that you be granted visitation rights. Whatever happens, don’t take the child away from his/her mother without obtaining first a court order in your favor.



        I’m in the midst of a court battle. My ex is opposing me and my husbands petition to adopt my 4 year old son. My ex hasn’t given my child any support since birth and only made few visits in our home, he also have another illegitimate who is only 1 year younger than my son. We are adopting my son through my marriage is there a possibility that we can adopt my son for we have all means and ways to raise him though I would still allow ex to visit my son. ?


        Sent from my iPhone

      2. Atty. Post author

        Lyn: If your son is illegitimate, then your adoption petition may most likely be granted in your (you and your husband’s) favor. I’m sure that your lawyer can respond to the opposition very well.

      3. Arthur

        Atty , apelyedo ko ang dinala ng anak ko na illegitimate sa kanyang surname nung ito ay aming inerehistro.nitong bago lang ay pinabinyagan nila ang bata na d ko alam.kasi napag usapan namin na dito sa amin binyagan ang bata.Ang tanong ko Atty.
        1. pwede ba nila iparehistro uli ang bata at baguhin ang apelyedo ng anak ko na di ko alam?
        Ito kasi ang narinig ko na sabi sabi.
        2. pwede ba akong magreklamo laban sa ina ng bata?
        Kung pwede man. ano ang mai file ko na kaso laban sa ina?

      4. Atty. Post author

        Arthur: To change the child’s surname, the mother may have to file a petition for change of name in court, which requires notification to the child’s father and a publication in a newspaper of general circulation before the court can begin hearing the petition.

  88. Shamae

    hi atty,i am a mother of a 5 year old girl,(she just turned 5 last 23rd of august).Her father and I was never been married and we’ve been separated since 2010.I am married now with the US Army guy,i wanted to bring my daughter before i left Philippines,but since her father didn’t allow her to come with me,we agreed that he will tend her for a while,and i am going to see her on skype every weekends (because at that time he doesn’t have any PC).But then he never comply of what we agreed(see her on skype every weekend),instead it took’s like 1 month or 2 before i’ll see my daughter.So then last January i decided that she will be staying at my moms,my husband sent a money to support my daughter because she’s with my mom already,but unfortunately the father came(one month after) into my moms house and he forced to get my daughter even my daughter was blubbering coz she didn’t want to go with her dad,i was so mad as will as my mom and sisters of what he did.After he took my daughter from my moms,i had this mother instinct stuff,i thought that something wasn’t right,(and i was right)because last couple of months,i just found out (from my daughter’s mouth) that he no longer the one that takes care of her,she’s under the custody of his parents now,(in which he hid it from me).And he had these nonsense reasons why our daughter is not living with him and her gf.Although he’s still supporting her a little.I said a little because he’s not really a regular employed man,he just perform a fire dance show every Friday at plantation bay or sometimes it’ll be cancelled due to some reasons too.My question is,does my mom needs a letter of authorization from me stating that i authorized her to look after my daughter while i’m here in the US,(coz my ex doesn’t like the idea that my daughter will stay at my moms).And if my daughter will be at my moms already and her father will force to get her again,what will be the appropriate action that we should put on the table so he can’t take my daughter from my moms custody?I don’t have a job yet here in the states(i’m still working for my license and master how to drive) but my husband is willing to support my daughter if she will be living with my mom.And even my mom is willing to support my daughter until i will get a job.And what should i do by the time i’ll bring her here in the US?coz she’s bringing her father’s surname.please help me enlighten my mind atty about this situation.your response will be highly appreciated. Thank you so much.(please reply on my email)

    1. Atty. Post author

      Shamae: I suggest that you ask a lawyer to send a letter asking the child’s father to return your child to your mother over whom you have delegated temporary parental authority while you are away. If he fails to do so, your only option is to ask your lawyer to file the appropriate case in court for the return of your child but you may have to return first to the Philippines to attend hearings and settle the issue. If you intend to bring her with you to the US, I’m afraid that you’ll need to either obtain the written consent of the father or a court order confirming your right of sole custody.

  89. Annie G.

    dear attorney, I am a single mother of a 3 year old girl.I am working abroad and I left my daughter when she was just 9 months old to my mom.The father of my child and I separated since the baby was born but he acknowledged her by signing at the back of my child’s birth certificate.. Since I left 2 years ago, my ex was visiting my daughter every once a month and bringing her 1 can of milk, diapers, and some vitamins. Me and my family never forbid him nor his family in visiting my daughter in our house..Since then I never talk to my ex regarding some financial obligations for my child, I just let him to visit my child. And now that I finished my 2 years contract and I am back here in the Philippines for vacation, I talked to the father of my child regarding the monthly support for my child and about the trust fund that we can talked about for our daughter.I told him that I will ask for some legal advise regarding this matter and will clarify and make an agreement that I don’t have any rights from anything that he will deposit on her account.Before they are telling me that I cannot force him with his obligation because he don’t have any work but now I heard it directly from him that he is starting working since April. So I made this move. I went to an attorney and I told him about it before doing so. The attorney advised me to talk to him first for us to settle whatever agreement that we can finalize on.I asked him if we can meet and talk regarding the monthly obligation and the trust fund. He said that maybe we can just talk through SMS and if I am asking about his obligations, he is telling me he’s the one who MUST take care of our child because my vacation will be ended in a month & I will leave again and be far from my child again. He also texted me regarding the financial support that if I cannot support my child’s education and her everyday necessity he is the one who will provide it provided that he is the one who will take care of her.. I just want to ask attorney was it possible that he can take my daughter’s custody from my mother specially now that in a month I will be leaving again the country for work?What next action can I do now? and may I know and can you please enlighten me with all the rights of an illegitimate child regarding support, custody, visitation rights?your reply will be highly appreciated.. Thank you so much in advance..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Annie G.: The father of an illegitimate child is entitled to reasonable visitation, not custody. He is also obliged to provide support in an amount determined by the needs of the child and his financial capacity. If you are not in the country, you can delegate parental authority to your mother temporarily. I suggest that you discuss this clearly with the child’s father before you leave so that he will not get the impression that he is allowed to take the child away while you are gone. Also, it’s best to discuss a firm schedule for visitation and practise it while you are still in town to see if he complies with the schedule. Visitation can mean allowing the child to spend some time with the father away from your home or a supervised visit where the child’s father can just visit your home and spend time with the child at your place and in the presence of a responsible family member. Since you are the illegitimate child’s mother, you exercise sole parental authority and can determine the conditions of the visitation.

      1. Lhianne

        thank you so much for your advise atty…I I also just want to ask atty if the father can file a demand case against me for the custody of my child in the ground that I am out of the country and I am not the one who is taking care of my daughter though I already had a parental authority given to my mother, because they are saying he can do so because of his acknowledgment of the child the moment she was born.thank u so much again atty…will be looking forward for your reply..

      2. Atty. Post author

        Lhianne: Acknowledgment of paternity appearing on the child’s certificate of live birth does not give the father right of custody over the recognized child, but only a right to reasonable visitation. He can file a case but you can also defend your right of custody if that happens.

      3. Annie G***********

        thank you attorney.As what you have said, the father is obliged to provide support in an amount determined by the needs of the child and his financial capacity, how can I fight for this right and what if I opted not to receive anything from him for the reason that I want to stop any connection and communication from him and his family?

      4. Atty. Post author

        Annie: It’s okay if you didn’t enforce your child’s right to be supported by the father previously. But at any time that the child needs financial support, you may still file a petition for support citing the child’s needs and the father’s resources.

  90. Annie G**********

    and what if attorney given the chance & I want to bring my child out of the country.. do I need to ask the father to give me a consent for me to be able to bring my daughter with me?we really do appreciate and very grateful for all your advises given for free..God bless you more atty and may you able to help more other people..Thank you so much atty..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Annie: If the child’s father acknowledged paternity at the back of the child’s birth certificate, you may have to obtain his written consent for the child to migrate abroad. Many immigration authorities now require proof of right of custody such as a court order. It will depend on the specific requirements of the country you wish to enter. If the child’s father did not acknowledge paternity, then you may not have to obtain his consent for your child to migrate abroad.

  91. Robb B*********

    My filipina wife has two children with seperate fathers one is filipino and unknowningly married to another woman and fathered the 12 year old and the other is 5 years and her father is a Japanese national. Both fathers abandoned them and have supplied nothing to the mother for their care. We married in march and we are working for her to immigrate to my country of Canada. What problems if any could this cause for immigration…both fathers where abouts are not known.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Robb: Immigration authorities may require proof of the mother’s right of sole custody over the two illegitimate children. If their birth certificates mention the names of their respective fathers then a court order granting custody to the children’s mother may become necessary.

  92. bill

    I currently have three children ( under the age of 7 ) with a woman who is separated and going though an annulment with her husband. I am with two of my children in the u.s. and my partner wants me to move on with my life without her. But she would fight over the youngest because he is with her now. I would like to bring my youngest to the states. She has no job and has been living with me for the past 6 years. According to the law I need to prove she is unfit to care for care for the kids to get full custody. She is unemployed, but that does not necessarily deem her unfit. She once tried to commit suicide inner previous marriage and has the scars on her wrist to prove it. Can that be grounds to transfer custody to me?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bill: Illegitimate children are under the sole parental authority of their mothers. The fathers who acknowledge them are entitled to reasonable visitation. Compelling reasons for depriving a mother of custody is determined by the actual circumstances– her past may not be relevant unless a professional examines her and determines her to be insane.

  93. shin

    hi atty:
    i have a 3 year old child, her mother go to abroad 6 months after giving birth and up to date she is still working in abroad. we have a problem since she made a relationship with other man in abroad when i found out she said that they already stop communicating with each other.

    question: what if she want to take the child to abroad and i don’t want to permit it, is that possible? also what can i do to prevent that from happening?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Shin: If the child is illegitimate, then his/her mother can take the child abroad even without your consent. Legally, the mother has sole parental authority over her illegitimate child, so there’s little that the father can do about this. It’s a consequence of not being married to the child’s mother.

  94. Nonoy

    Hello Atty,

    Thank you very much for all the legal support that you gave us. I was so lucky to find this site because I have an issue regarding my only son. My son is currently 6 years old, and has lived with me and my parents since he was born. My girlfriend to whom I am not married, left me and my son since he was a baby to go to their hometown. Unfortunately, she never comeback nor make a communication with me or my son. Now my problem is, one day, the mother of my son called me all of a sudden and told us that she got pregnant with another man. Is there any possible that I could file an adoption for my own son for legal purposes. I need to get him a passport but it said that I can’t do it since the mother has every right for my son. Is an abandonment a legal technicality in terms of filing for full custody or adoption? How long does it usually take to get approve if file those paperwork?

    Again thank you very much and God bless you always..


    1. Atty. Post author

      Nonoy: I suggest that you approach the DSWD regarding adoption and the possibility of declaring the child abandoned by his mother. Legal adoption is a court procedure and the entire process can take around 12 to 18 months. You’ll have to engage a lawyer to file the appropriate action for you.

      1. Nonoy

        Dear Atty.,

        Thank you very much for your immediate response. I knew that it is going to be a long battle in order to get a full and legal custody of my son. But I am willing to wait as long as I get the proper and legal papers saying that I have the full custody of him. Thank you again.

        More power to you Atty. and God Bless you!

  95. YP

    Good day,
    My question pertains to my 5 y.o. niece whom I intend to adopt, if allowed the opportunity to. She is my younger sister’s illegitimate child with her former live-in partner off and on for 4 years. The two have separated since 2011, child support is not being sought, and the father is allowed to visit the child. The child bears her biological father’s surname – identified on the child’s official records of birth and baptism as well as on her passport. My sister would like to obtain sole, legal custody of the child either for purpose of their future immigration to a foreign country or to allow for me to legally adopt the child. The biological father refuses either scenarios to ever transpire.
    I understand how complicated this may be, but I am writing to find a legal remedy. Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing your advise.

    1. Atty. Post author

      YP: The consent of the child’s biological father is necessary for adoption to proceed. On the other hand, the child’s mother does not need to file any case or petition in court to obtain sole custody over her own illegitimate child nor will she need the father’s consent to have full custody, because the Family Code automatically gives sole parental authority of an illegitimate child to its mother. I hope this helps.

      1. YP

        Yes your reply helps, thank you. It is apparent that the mother exercises sole parental authority over the child. Can this prerogative be executed over matters of immigration? Or is (paternal) consent necessary for this as well?

      2. Atty. Post author

        YP: While Philippine laws automatically recognize the mother’s sole parental authority over an illegitimate child, other countries may not and depending on their immigration requirements, ask that the mother show proof of her right of custody. If she wants to let her child migrate abroad and the specific immigration authority requires a court order as proof of her right of custody, then she may have to file a petition for sole custody here in the Philippines. Her physical presence in the Philippines is necessary to attend to the hearings. Your previous query about adopting the child as your own may not be the appropriate solution for her to bring the child abroad.

  96. shin

    hi atty:
    i have a 3 year old child, her mother go to abroad 6 months after giving birth and up to date she is still working in abroad we are married for 4 years now. currently we have a problem since she made a relationship with other man in abroad when i found out she said that they already stop communicating with each other.

    question1: what if she want to take the child to abroad and i don’t want to permit it, is that possible?

    question2: what can i do to prevent that from happening?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Shin: Considering that this is a legitimate child, your wife may not easily take the child abroad without your consent, perhaps she may only for short vacation trips, but not to migrate, because many immigration authorities abroad require the father’s written consent or the mother’s proof of sole custody before allowing a child to reside abroad. If the child already has a passport, then keeping this in the meantime, may help. However, there is nothing that can stop the child’s mother from applying for a new one, declaring the current one lost. But holding on to the passport will, at least, add to the difficulty of taking the child abroad. I hope this helps.

Comments are closed.