Child legalization in Indonesia is the only way to recognize your child born out of wedlock. This proceeding is a must-have in order to build a relationship between a father and the child. It's giving him a paternity privilege. This thing means a lot to both of them, and covers so many aspects in their lives. The proceeding is to get a DNA test as the primary scientific instrument to take a stand in the court litigation. On one side, it shall be the legal basis for the paternity claim to the court of law in Indonesia. But on the other side, DNA tests may become the potential shadowing procedure in getting a child legalized by a father.
Read on and I will tell you what you should know.
Your Marriage First
According to Article 2 (1) Marriage Law number 1 of 1974, your marriage will only be legally recognized if it was officially registered. We have two marriage registries in Indonesia i.e. Civil Registry, and Office of Religious Affairs. The date when your marriage is officially registered will be the date of your marriage. In the event your child’s date of birth was before the marriage date, she/he is an out of wedlock child, even though she/he was born after the religious ceremony. It is the registration date that counts. Therefore, your marriage is not legally recognized according to state law. Any child conceived shall be an illegitimate one.
So, your marriage must come first before the child, and it must be officially registered with the government's marriage registry. Therefore, your marriage is the foundation of your family. Just like what they said: your marriage first!
Your Child Comes Thereafter
In the event your child was born before the marriage officially registered, legally speaking she/he is an illegitimate child. The child is not a legitimate one according to Article 42 of the Marriage Law. A legitimate child is one who was born into its parent legal marriage.
In another word, your child is an out of wedlock and therefore will only have a legal relationship with its mother and her family. No paternity privilege being established under this situation. Not yet. This is governed under Article 43 (1) of the Marriage Law. The only way to do so is through the biological mother. She needs to consent the child legalization.
The Civil Code has imposed that in order to legitimize the child, both husband and wife need to perform child legalization. Article 274 of Civil Code further stipulates that the same rules and regulations shall be applicable to both the legitimate and illegitimate after the legalization proceeding is fully completed.
The procedures started by getting an acknowledgment of the child by the father. He acknowledges the child as his flesh and blood, and therefore shall be willing to accept the responsibilities as a father. As part of the acknowledgement, he also allowed the child to use his family name. In some parts of the world, you need to use the same last name in order to be entitled to some privileges.
On the other hand, the mother consents the legalization proceedings. She also needs to confirm that the child receives support from the father on a daily basis. The most important part is that she needs to confirm that the child is his. This is essential as her affidavit shall be supported with a DNA test. This is the primary procedure that has been shadowing the child legalization proceedings.
What If You’re Not Married?
If you’re not married, you can also conduct child legalization. You need to get a court to approve this case. This is quite a tricky process as you only have one bite of an apple. You need to get the process a success in the first place, otherwise they will throw the case out and you’re stuck in limbo.
Your child also needs legal protection by getting legal recognition by his/her parents. It’s reflected on his/her birth certificate with the complete parents’ name. The child born out of wedlock, they cannot have this. The child only has his/her mother’s name on it. This is awkward because you must have both parents otherwise it won’t work. The fact is, a father’s name is not printed on the birth certificate. You need to have your name as a father otherwise your child is not recognized legally.
Article 43 (1) of 1974 Marriage Law allows the child born outside of legal marriage to have paternity relationship with the alleged man as his/her father. Thanks to the breakthrough decision by the Constitutional Court in 2010. I have assisted more than a dozen cases in doing so during my time as an attorney. This is not something you see everyday, but it’s happening here in our lives, and our legal system is perfectly well in getting the proceeding completed.
My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my posts!
Our thanks to Asep Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!