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Article 164

Children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate.

Children conceived as a result of artificial insemination of the wife with the


sperm of the husband or that of a donor or both are likewise legitimate
children of the husband and his wife, provided, that both of them authorized
or ratified such insemination in a written instrument executed and signed
by them before the birth of the child. The instrument shall be recorded in
the civil registry together with the birth certificate of the child. (55a, 258a)

It is settled in law that children conceived or born during marriage of the


parents are legitimate. with the advancement in the medical field, the FCC
provides for a specific provision regarding the status of children born of
artificial insemination. these ch8ildren are those conceived artificially through a
specific medical process wherin a man’s sperm is introduced into the uterine
cavity of a woman.

The Law declares that children conceived and born as a result of artificial
insemination of a man’s sperm, whether from the husband or from a donor,
shall be demed as LEGITIMATE child. For the child to be considered as
legitimate, the law requires the ff:

1. Husband and wife should sign an authorization for the conduct of the
artificial insemination. It is necessary that the authorization shall be signed
before the birth of the child.

2. The instrument shall be recorded in the civil registry together with the
birth certificate of the child

In the event the husband or wife or both did not authorize the medical
procedure, the children born of artificial insemination shall still be deemed as
legitimate, provided the husband and wife shall execute a document ratifying the
artificial insemination. It is likewise required that the ratification shall be
executed before the birth of the child. The authorization and/or ratification shall
be filed in the civil registry together with the birth certificate of the child (Article
164, FCC).
As such, children conceived and born as a result of artificial insemination which
was performed without the authorization and/ or ratification of either the
husband or wife shall be considered as illegitimate.
On Surrogacy,
In the Philippines, the contract of surrogacy is not expressly stated as illegal. Some are
of the legal opinion that a female’s reproductive system or parts thereof are beyond the
commerce of men. I view surrogacy, however, in the genre of a service contract, the
validity of which may lie in whether the service is right or wrong. Although not listed in
the law, I would classify surrogacy as an unenforceable contract. This means that if
you have paid for it and go to court to enforce it, you will lose because our laws will only
consider the birth mother as the parent unless parental rights and authority are
transferred by process of adoption. But if no one complains, it is ratified. Still, the right
process should be to legally adopt the child you have contracted to be conceived by a
surrogate. We are not unaware, however, of the shortcut process that after delivery—
the names of the genetic parents are immediately placed on the birth certificate of the
child.
It may surprise you that the Philippine law is not completely zero in recognizing
reproductive technologies, when used by spouses without involving a surrogate mother.
In Article 164 of the Family Code, the child is considered legitimate even if the wife was
artificially inseminated with the sperm of a donor. The spouses should simply put
this arrangement in writing before the child is born. Article 164 refers to artificial
insemination (AI). It was obviously written before in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology.
With IVF it is possible for the wife, if needed, to receive sperm as well as egg donations.
The egg and sperm of third-party donors are fertilized in a laboratory and the developed
embryo is then placed in the womb of the wife. So technically, in an IVF where the wife
received egg donation, the child of the legally married couple will be considered
illegitimate under Article 164.
.
WHAT about childless Filipino couples? Is surrogacy a possibility?
There is as yet no law governing the practice, although I know of some couples who
enter into informal arrangements with surrogates who, for a certain sum, agree to carry
their child. Right after birth, the child is registered as the child of the donor-parents, a
practice also common in informal adoptions.
In the last Congress, Manuel Villar, then a senator, filed a bill in the Senate which would
have outlawed surrogacy, although I don’t know what that bill’s status is today, or if his
wife, Sen. Cynthia Villar, has refiled it.

The transaction is still largely informal mainly because of the absence of a firm law. But
couples resorting to surrogacy should take heed of a lawyer’s opinion, published in a
legal blog, that under the law, the surrogate is considered the mother of the child.
“The law does not confer upon A and B (the donor parents) the right to claim parental
right over the child that actually came from the womb of C (the surrogate) to be
considered as their legitimate child, unless they resort to adoption,” says the lawyer-
author.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied requests to hear two surrogacy cases,
effectively upholding existing state laws in Iowa and California. These denials are
“wins” for the surrogacy community, as the court’s refusal to hear and rule on the
matters protects the rights of parents who expand their families through the use
of surrogacy arrangements.

In the Iowa case, a married husband and wife entered into a surrogacy agreement with
a gestational carrier. Using the husband’s sperm and a donor egg, the gestational
carrier underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) and delivered two babies. However, one
of the twins died shortly after birth and the gestational carrier decided she wanted to
keep the other child as her own. A custody battle ensued, and in February the Iowa
Supreme Court ruled in favor of surrogacy contracts, awarding full, permanent
custody to the intended parents. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the gestational
carrier’s request to review that decision.