Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title
3. Legitimation by subsequent marriage
4. Legitimacy of children of certain void marriages
5. Legitimacy of children of voidable marriages
6. Declaration of legitimation
7. Rights of legitimated persons, etc., to take interests in property
8. Succession on intestacy of legitimated persons and their issue
9. Application to illegitimate person dying before marriage of parents
10. Personal rights and obligations of legitimated persons
12. Provisions as to persons legitimated by extraneous law
13. Right of illegitimate child and mother of illegitimate child to succeed on intestacy of the other
14. High Court may make orders as to custody of illegitimate children
15. Applications for affiliation orders
to amend the law relating to children born out of wedlock; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.
[27th December, 1929]
Act 40 of 1929,
Act 22 of 1930,
Act 74 of 1965,
Act 13 of 1994,
Act 8 of 1996,
GN 497 of 1964,
SI 152 of 1965.
This Act may be cited as the Legitimacy Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“appointed date” means the 1st January, 1966;
“date of legitimation” means—
(a) in the case of a legitimated person whose father or mother was married to a third person when he was born, the date of the marriage leading to legitimation, or where the marriage occurred before the appointed date, the appointed date; or
(b) in any other case, the date of the marriage leading to the legitimation, or where the marriage occurred before the commencement of this Act, the commencement of this Act;
“disposition” means an assurance of any interest in property by any instrument whether inter vivos or by will;
“intestate” includes a person who leaves a will but dies intestate as to some beneficial interest in his real or personal estate;
“legitimated person” means a person legitimated by this Act;
“Registrar-General” means the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths appointed under the provisions of section 3 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act;
“will” includes a codicil.
[S 2 am by Act 74 of 1965.]
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where the parents of an illegitimate person marry or have married one another, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, the marriage shall, if the father of the illegitimate person was or is at the date of the marriage domiciled in the Republic, render that person, if living, legitimate—
(a) in the case of an illegitimate person whose father or mother was married to a third person when he was born, from the appointed date or from the date of the marriage whichever last happens; or
(b) in any other case, from the commencement of this Act, or from the date of the marriage, whichever last happens.
(2) The legitimation of a person under this Act does not enable him or his spouse, children or remoter issue to take any interest in real or personal property save as is hereinafter in this Act expressly provided.
(3) The provisions contained in the Schedule shall have effect with respect to the re-registration of the births of legitimated persons.
[S 3 am by Act 74 of 1965.]
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the child of a void marriage, whether born before or after the appointed date, shall be treated as the legitimate child of his parents if at the time of the act of intercourse resulting in the birth (or at the time of the celebration of the marriage if later) both or either of the parties reasonably believed that the marriage was valid.
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