Who should have custody of an illegitimate child in the Philippines?

The mother of an illegitimate child shall have sole custody and parental authority of the child.

Art. 176 of the Family Code provides that parental authority of an illegitimate child is vested with the mother. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that, as a consequence and in the exercise of parental authority, the mother is entitled to have custody of the child except if the mother is unfit to exercise such authority and care.

The High Court further ruled that only the most compelling reasons shall justify the deprivation of the mother of such parental authority and custody. Example of such reasons are:

  • Neglect and abandonment
  • Unemployment
  • Immorality
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Drug addiction
  • Maltreatment of the child
  • Insanity
  • Affliction with a communicable disease

Go back to the main article: An Ultimate Guide to an Illegitimate Child’s Rights, Birth Registration, and Legitimization