G.R. No. 177728, 31 July 2009


Jenie was denied the registration of her child’s birth because the document attached to the Affidavit to use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) entitled “Autobiography,” did not include the signature of the deceased father, and “because he was born out of wedlock and the father unfortunately died prior to his birth and has no more capacity to acknowledge his paternity to the child.”

Jenie and the child promptly filed a complaint for injunction/registration of name against Gracia. The trial court held that even if Dominique, the father, was the author of the unsigned handwritten Autobiography, the same does not contain any express recognition of paternity.


Whether or not the unsigned handwritten instrument of the deceased father of minor Christian can be considered as recognition of paternity.


Yes, it can be considered as a recognition of paternity.Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by RA 9255, permits an illegitimate child to use the surname of his/her father if the latter had previously recognized him/her as his offspring through an admission made in a pubic of private handwritten instrument.

Article 176, as amended, does not explicitly state that there must be a signature by the putative father in the private handwritten instrument.

The following rules respecting the requirement of affixing the signature of the acknowledging parent in any private handwritten instrument wherein an admission of filiation of a legitimate or illegitimate child is made:

Where the private handwritten instrument is the lone piece of evidence submitted to prove filiation, there should be strict compliance with the requirement that the same must be signed by the acknowledging parent; and

Where the private handwritten instrument is accompanied by other relevant and competent evidence, it suffices that the claim of filiation therein be shown to have been made and handwritten by the acknowledging parent as it is merely corroborative of such other evidence.

* Case digest by Gretchen Rina A. Lim, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018