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Legitimized  (LEGITIMIZED)

Births are sometimes classified by legitimacy1. In general the classification depends upon the marital status of the mother at the time of the conception or confinement. Strictly speaking a legitimate child2 may be defined as one whose father and mother were married to one another at the time of conception and a legitimate birth3 as the delivery of such a child; other births or children are illegitimate4. It is general practice, however, to consider as legitimate the children who result from pre-marital conceptions5, pre-nuptial conceptions5 or ante-nuptial conceptions5 (i.e., conceptions occurring before marriage) provided that the parents are married to each other at the time of the birth. An illegitimate child6 or child born out of wedlock6, sometimes called a natural child6, (the legal term bastard6 has acquired a derogatory meaning) may be legitimized8 or legitimated8 by the subsequent marriage of his parents. The process of legitimation9, which varies in different countries, may confer on the illegitimate child some or all of the rights of legitimate children. In some legal systems, it is possible for a father to grant recognition7 to his illegitimate child, i.e., to admit in legal form that he is the child’s father.

  • 6. According to the law of some countries a child is illegitimate if it results from an adulterous relationship, adulterous connexion or extra-marital connexion, i.e., a connexion between a married woman and a man other than her husband, but such a birth is not always registered as illegitimate.