We often hear the term “legitimate child”, “natural child,” or “adopted child”. These different terms are derived from the old legislation. The current law sees them differently: all children have similar rights and duties. However, it is always interesting to explain more about these notions, especially about the legitimate and natural child. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn about the equality of legitimate and natural children.
A legitimate child
The legal status of a child at birth is associated with the marital status of the mother. A child is legitimate when its parents are married at the time of its conception. In the laws of the past, legitimate children were the only ones to benefit from rights such as inheritance rights. Also, concubinage and adultery are unforgivable faults. For this, the child suffers sanctions such as the lack of inheritance rights.
A natural child
Natural parentage refers to a child born out of wedlock between its parents. If the parents decide to marry after the child’s birth, the child is said to be legitimated. The number of natural children with couples living together or in a civil union has multiplied nowadays. This is a simple natural child.
To establish a natural filiation, the father and the mother must carry it out separately. In the past, the parents must proceed to the recognition of the child so that the latter could fully benefit from its rights. For this reason, they carry out social care or establish an act of recognition.
Since the reform of filiation in July 2005, the establishment of filiation has been carried out in a different way for both parents. Recognition before or two months after the birth of the child is the way to establish paternal filiation. As for maternal filiation, it is established naturally by indicating the family name on the birth certificate.
An adulterous natural child
There is also an adulterous natural child. When one of the parents was involved in another marriage at the time of conception, the child is qualified as such. Concerning the incestuous child, he has parents who cannot marry because they have a relationship or alliance. These reasons make the union impossible. Thus, the natural or illegitimate child is in contrast to the legitimate child, even in different countries.
All children are equal
The law of filiation was a delicate issue a century ago. Children have always been discriminated against on the basis of their birth. Adulterous and incestuous children suffer the most injustice. They have always been the victims of the evil eye in society because they had no rights and were the consequence of the parents’ faults.
In 1896, the situation improved. Natural children could receive half of the portion of the inheritance to which they would have been entitled in full if they were legitimate children. Adulterous and incestuous natural children could receive half of their portion. It was not until July 2006 that this discrimination was abolished.
These notions have been erased from the Civil Code, which gives the freedom to all children, whether natural, legitimate or adopted, to benefit from the same rights. Even in case of doubt, it is possible to use DNA tests.
Some differences are still visible.
Since children are only victims of the relationships and mistakes of their parents, they should not be discriminated against. However, traces of differences between children are still visible. The first one is obviously in the family name. A child bears the name of his father in case the link of filiation is only established towards him. This difference is also evident at the level of parental authority. To this day, a child born of an incestuous relationship cannot be recognized.
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