Are my children illegitimate?


#1

Are my children considered bastards after an annulment? I am concidering asking for one.


#2

All children are legitimate in the eyes of God so the question of legitimacy is not about a child’s holiness but about his legal rights. That said, the Church does treat legitimacy in canon law. In his book, Annulments and the Catholic Church, Ed Peters explains, “Illegitimacy no longer carries any canonical consequences that I can see… The only reason the concept of legitimacy is still treated in [canon law] is, I think, because some nations, by treaty with the Holy See, will accept canonical declarations of nullity as civil divorces, which is fine as far as that goes, but such policies could raise the possibility that post-divorce civil questions of child-support and inheritance could be clouded if legitimacy were not treated in canon law” (p. 117).

Dr. Peters also points out that, “the granting of an annulment does nothing to affect the legitimacy of children. That status, to the scant degree it has any canonical significance, is determined prior to the time any questions of annulment are raised” (p.118-119).


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