Child recognition

CHILD RECOGNITION AND LEGITIMATION IN CAMEROON : 4 EASY STEPS

INTRODUCTION TO CHILD RECOGNITION AND LEGITIMATION IN CAMEROON.

Children born or conceived when there is a valid and subsisting marriage between their parents are referred to as legitimate children while those of unmarried parents are illegitimate. A legitimate child is one regarded by law as a child born with full rights and it confers on the child certain rights against the man whom the law regards as his father and generally against society.

A legitimate child is one regarded by law as a child born with full rights and it confers on the child certain rights against the man whom the law regards as his father and generally against society. This implies that children born out of wedlock are illegitimate children and Ordinance No 81 -02 of 29th June 1981clearly set out the procedure of child recognition and legitimation in Cameroon.

legitimacy is the status acquired by a person who is born in lawful wedlock. Black Law Dictionary defines it as a lawful birth; the condition of being born in wedlock whereas illegitimacy is a condition that exists before the law or the social status of a child born out of wedlock. It can also be said to be the condition of one whose parents were not married at the time of his or her birth.

Child recognition and Legitimation is the process through which a child who has not been born in lawful wedlock, acquires the status of a legitimate child, which is as a result of some acts which includes the subsequent marriage of his parent or by acknowledgement by his father after the date.  It is also a way of making legitimate that which was not originally so through the statutory procedure. It is important to determine the status of an illegitimate child to assure the succession right of the child as an illegitimate child has no succession rights as against a legitimate child.

THE BASIC INGREDIENTS TO PROVE THE LEGITIMACY OF A CHILD

  1. There must exist a valid marriage between the parents of the child, customary or statutory law marriage.
  2. The wife has to be the mother of the child in question.
  3. The father is also presumed to be the husband of the mother of the child born during the subsistence of the marriage.

The above requirement must be fulfilled before a child can be recognized as a legitimate child. The absence of which the child will be considered as an illegitimate. child.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR CHILD RECOGNITION AND LEGITIMATION

  1. Original and photocopy of birth certificate of the child
  2. Original and photocopy of the Marriage certificate of the parents of the child
  3. Copy of identity card of the parents of the child
  4. Copy of mother consent if father intends recognizing a child born out of wedlock.

The above documents shall be filed in court for child recognition and legitimation decision. The judgement for child recognition and legitimation must be inscribed as marginal notes on the birth certificate as provided for by section 41(3) of Ordinance No 81 -02 of 29th June 1981. The said law regulate child birth , death and marriage in Cameroon.

CONCLUSION

Section 44 (1) of Ordinance No 81 -02 of 29th June 1981 provides that recognition of children born out of wedlock shall be accepted by the civil status registrar if the presumed father makes such declaration with the consent of the mother witnessed by two adults.

Article by MAFANY victor NGANDO

Kinsmen Advocates Law Firm

“The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advise should be sought about your specific circumstance”.