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children born to a father and mother who are not legally married. In the USSR if the descent of illegitimate children from given parents has been established according to the legally prescribed procedure, they have the same rights and obligations in relation to parents and relatives as children born in a legally registered marriage. The descent of a child of unmarried parents is established when both father and mother file a joint declaration at the state agencies of civil registration. In the absence of such a declaration, paternity can be established in a court proceeding. This regulation applies only to children born after Oct. 1, 1968—that is, from the date when the Fundamental Principles of the Law of the USSR and Union Republics on Marriage and the Family went into effect. During the registration of illegitimate children, the registration of the mother on the birth certificate is provided by her declaration; the father’s registration is provided by the joint declaration of the child’s parents or according to a court decision. In the event of the mother’s death, or if it is impossible to establish her place of residence, her registration on the birth certificate is provided by the father’s declaration. If there is no joint declaration of the parents or court decision establishing paternity, the registration of the child’s father in the registry of births is made in the mother’s surname; in such cases the mother indicates the name and patronymic of the child.
In the legislation of the majority of socialist countries, illegitimate children have the same rights as children born in registered marriage when paternity has been established or recognized through a court proceeding.
In prerevolutionary Russia, illegitimate children were completely deprived of rights.
In the legislation of the majority of bourgeois states, significant changes have taken place since the mid-20th century toward recognizing certain rights of illegitimate children. (In the 19th and early 20th centuries, illegitimate children were, as a rule, completely deprived of rights.) However, even when these changes are taken into consideration, the equalization of the rights of illegitimate and legitimate children is very complicated. In France and Italy illegitimate children have equal rights with legitimate children only if their parents have concluded a legal marriage. In the Federal Republic of Germany illegitimate children can be made legitimate by a court decision if the marriage of their parents is impossible. In Great Britain legitimization of illegitimate children as a result of the parents’ marriage was introduced in 1926. In many states in the USA illegitimate children do not enjoy any rights in relation to their parents, and in several states, legitimization of illegitimate children is allowed when the parents marry or recognize their illegitimate children.
REFERENCESGrazhdanskoe i torgovoe prava kapitalisticheskikh gosudarstv. Moscow, 1966. Pages 509-11.
“Osnovy zakonodatel’stva Soiuza SSR i soiuznykh respublik o brake i sem’e.” Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, 1968, no. 27, art. 241.
E. M. VOROZHEIKIN