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Child Legalization in Indonesia

We all know that a relationship between children and their mother is considered legitimate, by Indonesian law. Therefore, legalization of a child is only necessary for the father of a child.

The court’s recognition of the legalization will bring about impacts on the legal status of the child. We called this an active legal action because it cannot be accomplished without the biological father’s participation.

What is child legalization?

Indonesia law defines child legalization as the means to change the legal status of a child from being born “out of wedlock” to determine the parentage of the child. This is the legal way for a child to obtain rights as are due a child which is born through a legitimate marriage. Nevertheless, the legalized child will possess limited rights, particularly regarding the legacy existing in his/her family law.

The Components of Legalization

There are two main components in child legalization: acknowledgment and marriage. These are not optional. You’ve got to complete both.

Acknowledgment shall be made by the child parents when they finally get married. In the event the acknowledgment is made upon marriage, the acknowledgment shall be simultaneously recorded in the marriage certificate.

In general, an illegitimate child’s status can be acknowledged and therefore he/she can be legalized. If there is any illegitimate child adjudicated by any court as being born as the result of incest, whereby the child cannot be acknowledged by his/her father, then the child can be legalized through dispensation by the way of marriage of the man to the woman being the biological mother of the child. Therefore, legalization of a child conceived through incest can only be made through acknowledgment in the marriage certificate of his/her parents.

The second component is marriage, whereas the father acknowledges his child that was born out of legitimate wedlock, and marries the woman who delivered his child. Without the fulfillment of the acknowledgment requirement, then the child’s status will not change to be a legitimate child. The main point of this requirement is that the acknowledgment will subsequently turn into legalization upon solemnizing the marriage of the child’s parents. Furthermore, the marriage must take place between the biological father and the biological mother delivering the child that was born out of legitimate wedlock.

How does Legalization work?

By the acknowledgment and marriage, the legalization shall be accomplished. In other words, the legalization will be automatic, if these two requirements are fulfilled.

In the case where a child born out of legitimate wedlock, but who has passed away, would be legalized, the child’s can still be legalized for the purpose of that child’s offspring possessing a family inheritance. So, the legal issues continue even though people pass away. It is important to resolve these legitimatization issues as soon as possible, to prevent further difficulties in the future.

At Wijaya & Co, we assist expats with legal issues and understanding their rights within the Indonesian legal system. This information is provided to assist the community; please feel free to forward it to others who might need the information.