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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume


Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Illegitimate  (ILLEGITIMATE)

Births are classified by legitimacy 1. 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. But in practice, the classification depends upon the marital status of the mother at the time of the birth or, after the dissolution of marriage (510-3), at the time of conception. A legitimate birth 3 is the delivery of such a .child; other births are illegitimate births 4. It is general practice to consider as legitimate the children who result from pre-marital conceptions 5 or pre-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 may be legitimized 8 or legitimated 8 by the subsequent marriage of its parents. The process of legitimation 9, which varies in different countries, may confer on the illegitimate child some or all of the legal rights of legitimate children. In some legal systems it is possible for a father to grant recognition 7 to, or acknowledge 7, his illegitimate child, i.e., to admit in legal form that he is the child’s father.

  • 1. In the United States of America, we refer to marital and non-marital births.
  • 5. Bridal pregnancies is also used in this connection.
  • 6. The legal term bastard has acquired a derogatory meaning but is occasionally used by historical demographers. According to the law of some countries a child is illegitimate if it results from adulterous relations or extra-marital relations i.e., a connection between a married woman and a man other than her husband, but such a birth is not always registered as illegitimate.