Statement regarding children born out of wedlock, natural or illegitimate, otherwise where paternity is not accepted.
On rare occasions, usually in the context of noble families, circumstances arise where someone contacts us with information requesting that X be mentioned as the child of Y.
This is a very delicate issue that can have a lot of ramifications on many genealogical tables especially bearing in mind that laws of civil status and privacy and property vary from country to country. The discovery of previously unsuspected or undisclosed non-paternity may have obvious consequences for the marital relationship which it violates. Despite the decreasing legal relevance of illegitimacy, an important exception may be found in the rules of nobility, which discriminate against illegitimate children in the application of jus sanguinis. Non-paternity (and non-maternity) may also result from hidden adoptions: that is, when a child is never told he or she was adopted.
It appears that where there is uncertainty, then the only definitive diagnosis of non-paternity is from DNA testing.
Without implying anything in regard to particular cases, some questions immediately come to mind:
(a) We make very serious examination of the risk that a contested/unaccepted paternity claim might be published as an uncontested/accepted paternity. Remember that you are responsible for ensuring that no material you contribute will be capable of appearing to be false, unreliable or misleading and that we are entitled to withdraw any material on the site which appears to be wrong.
(b) Secondly, even if a child is proven/accepted to be that of the man claimed by the mother, we might make any annotation to show that in terms of the grant that that child is not entitled to nobility because he was born out of wedlock. Most grants limit nobility to descendants born in wedlock only. Many grants and foundations (not all, e.g. see the Cassar Desain case) even disallow children who were legitimated by subsequent marriage
(c) Third, we acknowledge that it is impossible for us to control the veracity of a DNA test. We insist on a final judgment or a deed of acknowledgment.
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