Birth determines personality

Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions speciļ¬ed in the following article. (Article 40, Civil Code)

Albano (pg. 243) explains that personality does not begin at birth. Instead, it begins at conception. This personality at conception is called presumptive personality. It is, of course, essential that birth should occur later; otherwise the fetus will be considered as never having possessed legal personality. From, of course, another viewpoint, we may say that personality (actual personality) really commences at birth, for conception may in certain cases, be already considered birth.

For civil purposes, the fetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother’s womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb. (Article 41, Civil Code)