Am I an illigitamite child?

My dad married young and divorced a few months later (a presumed Anglican wedding, no annulment) and a few years later married my mother in a civil wedding and I was born from that.
Am I illegitimate? And if so does that mean anything bad these days in the church for me? For example - mean I can’t enter religious life? (I heard before Vatican II you couldn’t)

You were born into a legal marriage.
It wasn’t Sacramental but it was legal so you are not illegitimate.
Even if you had been illegitimate and were a man who desired to be a priest, you can obtain a dispensation.
However, you are not illegitimate.

God bless you and guide you always.

There are no illegitimate children in the eyes of God. You are not illegitimate even if it mattered. Thankfully our society has moved on from condemning the child for the sins of the Father. The church certainly has. You have no impediment to any function within the Church even if you were born out of legal wedlock, which you were not. Give yourself a hug and move on.

There are no illegitimate parents, only illegitimate parents! You are not responsible for the acts of your parents before you were even born.

I had illegitimate parents (unmarried). My father died before I was born and my mother gave me up for adoption. Except for being facts of my background, this time does not define me. Now that I am an adult, I define myself.

You are not where you came from, but where you are going, what you are doing, and where you want to be. Most importantly, you are who, what and where God wants you to be if you are obeying His will. And, if you are doing that, nothing else matters!

We have no way to know whether your father’s first marriage was a valid marriage, and therefore whether his current marriage is valid or invalid, as you do not give sufficient details and marriage law can be complex.

What we can say is:

Can.* 1137 The children conceived or born of a valid or putative marriage are legitimate.

Can.* 1139 Illegitimate children are legitimated by the subsequent valid or putative marriage of their parents or by a rescript of the Holy See.

There are no longer any impediments to the religious life based on legitimacy/illegitimacy.

And, impediments such as this could be dispensed, for example in the years prior to the change in the code of canon law.

This is nothing for you to worry about at all.

“Legitimacy” is a function of civil law. In Europe, the church was once intimately involved in civil law, such that Catholic weddings once played a factor in legitimacy of children.

In the United States, the church never played such a role. Legitimacy/inheritance rights have always been tied to proven parentage, often demonstrated by civil recognition of marriage.

There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.

That is not true. Legitimacy refers to a child having proven parentage, and thus having full rights of inheritance. For instance, If an unmarried man claims a child of indeterminate fathering as his own, they child becomes his legitimate heir.

In the United States, if the father is listed on the birth certificate, then the child is essentially his legitimate heir (since the parent’s marriage status does not factor into inheritance unless a will is drawn). Even without a father listed, the child would still be the legitimate heir of the mother.

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