Differences between illegitimate, legitimate and natural children

For centuries the 'illegitimate children', children born out of wedlock often of single women and of humble social status, have had a very bad time and their mothers with them. Many were abandoned in front of churches and convents or in hospitals or deposited directly

on the 'wheel of exhibits'

and entrust yourself to someone's mercy.

Today illegitimate children (very common especially if you think of famous people) often have to undergo a DNA test to verify paternity, see children of Vasco Rossi, Maradoni, Elvis Presley but the list could be endless.



In the country the highest incidence of illegitimate children is in Lombardy and Lazio with 10%, and in the country 10% of children are illegitimate. But now let's clarify a concept:

Legitimate children are those born within a marriage; natural ones are children born out of wedlock who may or may not be recognized by their parents or by one of them.

Here's what one of our community users explains on the Extended Families bulletin board

: according to current legislation, we speak of a legitimate or natural child depending on whether the parents are married or not.

the child born or conceived during the marriage is legitimate;

the child born out of wedlock is natural (clearly the child born out of wedlock

must be legally recognized by the father).

if the parents of a natural child join in marriage, the child acquires the status of legitimate child.

Today, extended families forcefully pose the problem of the relationship between legitimate and natural children.

The situation of children born out of wedlock differs from that of legitimate children in several respects; one of these is that they do not have 'juridical' relationships with the relatives of their parent with the exception of ancestors, that is, grandparents and great-grandparents. This means, for example, that



do not legally acquire 'uncles' or 'cousins'

. This situation was also confirmed by the Constitutional Court, 07/11/1994, n.377, according to which “The rights granted by art. 30 paragraph 3 of the Constitution recognized natural children are limited to the relationship of the child with the parent, by whom it was recognized, while, in relations with the other relatives of the parent, only a directive aimed at improving the legal treatment of natural children can be inferred from the aforementioned article. whose implementation, with appropriate gradualness, is left to the discretion of the legislator; therefore, the question of constitutional legitimacy of art. 565, 572, and subordinately to art. 468 cc, raised with reference to art. 3 and 30 of the Constitution, in the part in which they respectively do not provide for the succession of the natural brothers and sisters of the "de cuius", in the absence of legitimate descendants, ascendants, brothers and sisters, with precedence over the vocation of collateral relatives from the third to the sixth degree as well as in the part in which he does not admit the descendants of natural sisters or brothers of the "de cuius" to represent the parent who cannot or does not want to accept the inheritance ".

In terms of rights, legitimate and natural children have exactly the same rights as their parents.

However, there are still two ancient discriminations:

* in principle the natural child would not establish kinship relations with the relatives of the parent - however the jurisprudence tends largely to the overcoming of this ancient discrimination. Do you think that we tend to ensure children - all without exception - a healthy and loving relationship with their grandparents.


* in the event of competition between legitimate and natural children in the same inheritance, the former can liquidate the latter - in practice they correspond to the economic equivalent of all their inheritance rights. in this way they avoid, for example, sharing the title of ownership of a real estate with them.


in short, the definition of illegitimate children has been superseded

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