The legal term “bastardy,” refers to a child who is born under illegitimate conditions. It is derived of old English common law, where during those times, a special proceeding would be held in order to determine if the child could inherit from a putative father, receive support from them, or become a public charge. In more modern times, North Carolina law has recognized illegitimate children through N.C.G.S. § 49.

What Does North Carolina Law Say?

North Carolina law allows a putative father to take responsibility over a child born out of wedlock by having them file a special petition with the court. The mother of the child must be present during the hearing and a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate must be present to the court. If the court can determine that the putative father appears to be the father of the child, it may declare and pronounce the child as legitimated. This information can be found in N.C.G.S. § 49-10.

After Legitimization

Once the court has made a declaration that the child has been legitimized, the certified order is sent to the State Registrar, where a new birth certificate shall be created. The putative father will receive all lawful parental privileges and rights over the child, as well as the obligations to support the child. The child will be legally permitted to inherit any real and personal property of the father and the father may receive any real and personal property from the child.

Consider setting up a consultation with a family law attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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