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Changing Surname in Child's Birth Certificate | DNA Test

Updated: 2 days ago

Mr. B asks:

I am the registered legitimate father of a child (C). However, upon verifying C’s paternity, I learned that C was not your biological child and I have a DNA result to support the same.

C is carrying my surname. May I request that my surname be removed from his birth certificate?

Lawyers Online PH answers:

At Lawyers Online PH, we understand the complexities involved in changing the surname on a child's birth certificate, especially when a DNA test reveals a different biological father. We can provide expert advice and guide you through the legal process to ensure that your rights and the child's best interests are protected.

A. Impugning C's Legitimacy

Firstly, it is important to determine if you are married to C's mother. If you are married, there is a presumption that children conceived or born during marriage are considered legitimate. However, this presumption is not conclusive and can be disputed. Under Article 166 of the Family Code, a father may impugn the legitimacy of a child by proving either physical impossibility of sexual intercourse within the first 120 days of the 300 days immediately preceding the birth, or by providing biological or scientific evidence that conclusively establishes the child could not have been his.

It is crucial to note that there are prescribed periods for filing the action to impugn legitimacy, depending on your place of residence. These periods range from one to three years from the knowledge of the birth or its recording in the civil register. Failing to file within the prescribed period may bar your right to dispute your filiation with the child.

Once C's legitimacy is successfully challenged, you will have a ground to change C's surname, which will be discussed further.

B. Petition for Change of Name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court

Changing a person's surname is a substantial change that requires legal proceedings. In your case, since C is not your biological child, you have the right to seek a change of surname. The appropriate legal remedy is a petition for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, which should be filed before the Regional Trial Court.

The Supreme Court has enumerated various grounds for changing a person's name in the case of Republic of the Philippines v. Magpayo (G.R. No. 189476, February 2, 2011). One of the grounds that applies to your situation is when the change results as a legal consequence, such as the impugning of legitimacy.


Based on the information provided, you have the right to challenge C's legitimacy and seek a change of surname. It is crucial to take immediate action and file the necessary legal proceedings within the prescribed period to avoid prescription. Our experienced team at Lawyers Online PH can assist you throughout the process, ensuring that your rights and the child's best interests are protected.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the steps involved in changing the surname on a child's birth certificate. We are here to provide expert guidance and support you in this important legal matter.

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