Am I illegitimate?

So when my parents got devorced my mom had to sign an anulment in the church saying they were never married so my dad could get remarried. Does this mean im illegitimate?Also will this interfere with be becoming catholic?

No & No!

You are not responsible for the actions of your parents, and those actions have no bearing on whether or not you can become Catholic.


Hi, be at peace.
You might like to read the following thread:

Nope. An annullment does not mean that the children are illegitimate.

I was in the same boat. My priest kindly told me that an annullment does not make the children illegitimate.

I actually like to think all children born of God are legitimate. But maybe that’s just me. God bless and peace!

“Illegitimate” is a legal term involving the civil law. Your parents were legally married civilly when you were born, so you are not “illegitimate”. A declaration of nullity by the Church does not affect that civil status.

Even when someone is born to parents who are not married civilly, that is no barrier to becoming a Catholic.

Nope. Your Dad and Mom supposedly were married when you were concieved. IMO you cannot go back and undo what is done. I have my suspicions about the numerous “annulments” granted in some parishes and if anything I would be more worried if I were your Father.

Legitimacy of children is also a legal concept in the Church’s Canon Law, viz:

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

Can. 1138 §1. The father is he whom a lawful marriage indicates unless clear evidence proves the contrary.
§2. Children born at least 180 days after the day when the marriage was celebrated or within 300 days from the day of the dissolution of conjugal life are presumed to be 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.

Can. 1140 As regards canonical effects, legitimated children are equal in all things to legitimate ones unless the law has expressly provided otherwise.

These are the only canons dealing with the legitimacy of children, from which I infer that legitimacy has zero canonical effects (as per Can. 1140).

Who is Not A Canon Lawyer

No you are NOT illegitimate in any sense of the word.

AND, your parents status, in any manner, has no effect on your ability to become a Catholic.

I agree with the comments made here. You are a legit child of your parents and in the eyes of the church.

Just a comment on your statement about your Mom having to sign a paper declaring that they were not married; I believe you misunderstand what that paper was all about. My oldest daughter has been through the same process so I know what goes into the “paper”. It basically gives a history of the events leading up to and including your activities surrounding the “marriage”. This helps the Tribunal determine if the “marriage” was a valid sacrament. Both the husband and wife fill out the “paper”. Then the Tribunal sends questionaires out to witnesses and listed parties to the “marriage”. They also answer to the best of their ability.

The Tribunal then sifts through the documents and makes a determination. A document of Nullity can then be issued IF the Tribunal OK’s it.

This takes time and there are some costs involved.

You are legitimate, don’t worry. :wave:

no an annulmant has no effect on the status of any children of the marriage, and your parents’ marital status has nothing to do with your becoming Catholic. Welcom home. These are questions you should ask of those helping you prepare for RCIA.

Thanks, for really scaring me. My mother married a divorced man - a mistake she regretted; they were later separated. But while their “marriage” was only civil service, I was baptized (pre-Vatican II). I don’t know / never thought that I might be “illegitimate” in the eyes of the Church but apparently, Holy Mother the Church welcomed my soul. I pray God will when my time comes. Thanks, for that thought-provoking post !

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