Pre-marital conception

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Pre-marital conception  (PRE-MARITAL conception)

Births are sometimes classified by legitimacy 1. In general the classification depends upon the marital status of the mother at the time of the conception or confinement. Strictly speaking a legitimate child 2 may be defined as one whose father and mother were married to one another at the time of conception and a legitimate birth 3 as the delivery of such a child; other births or children are illegitimate 4. It is general practice, however, to consider as legitimate the children who result from pre-marital conceptions 5, pre-nuptial conceptions 5 or ante-nuptial conceptions 5 (i.e., conceptions occurring before marriage) provided that the parents are married to each other at the time of the birth. An illegitimate child 6 or child born out of wedlock 6, sometimes called a natural child 6, (the legal term bastard 6 has acquired a derogatory meaning) may be legitimized 8 or legitimated 8 by the subsequent marriage of his parents. The process of legitimation 9, 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 recognition 7 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.


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