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N.I.

Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland) 1928 F1

1928 CHAPTER 5

An Act to amend the law relating to children born out of wedlock.

[4th June 1928]

Annotations:

1Legitimation by subsequent marriage [F2or civil partnership] of parents.N.I.

(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 Northern Ireland, render that person, if living, legitimate from the commencement of this Act, or from the date of the marriage, whichever last happens.

[F3(1A) Subject to subsection (3), where—

(a) a person (“the child”) has a parent (“the female parent”) by virtue of section 43 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (treatment provided to woman who agrees that second woman to be parent);

(b) at the time of the child's birth, the female parent and the child's mother are not civil partners of each other;

(c) the female parent and the child's mother subsequently enter into a civil partnership; and

(d) the female parent is at the date of the formation of the civil partnership domiciled in Northern Ireland,

the civil partnership shall render the child, if living, legitimate from the date of the formation of the civil partnership.]

Subs. (2) rep. by 1961 c. 5 (NI)

(3)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.

Subs. (4) rep. by SLR 1976

S. 2 rep. with saving by 1989 NI 4; SR 1989/306

3Rights of legitimated persons, etc., to take interests in property.N.I.

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Act, a legitimated person and his spouse, children or remoter issue shall be entitled to take any interest—

(a)in the estate of an intestate dying after the date of legitimation;

(b)F4 under any disposition coming into operation after the date of legitimation;

(c)by descent under a disposition whereby an estate tail has been created after the date of legitimation;

in like manner as if the legitimated person had been born legitimate.

(2)F4 Where the right to any property, real or personal, depends on the relative seniority of the children of any person, and those children include one or more legitimated persons, the legitimated person or persons shall rank as if he or they had been born on the day when he or they became legitimated by virtue of this Act, and if more than one such legitimated person became legitimated at the same time, they shall rank as between themselves in order of seniority.

(3)Where property real or personal or any interest therein is limited in such a way that, if this Act had not been passed, it would (subject or not to any preceding limitations or charges) have devolved (as nearly as the law permits) along with a dignity or title of honour, then nothing in this Act shall operate to sever the property or any interest therein from such dignity, but the same shall go and devolve (without prejudice to the preceding limitations or charges aforesaid) in like manner as if this Act had not been passed. This sub-section applies, whether or not there is any express reference to the dignity or title of honour and notwithstanding that in some events the property, or some interest therein, may become severed therefrom.

(4)This section applies only if and so far as a contrary intention is not expressed in the disposition, and shall have effect subject to the terms of the disposition and to the provisions therein contained.

Annotations:

F4 1977 NI 17

4Succession on intestacy of legitimated persons and their issue.N.I.

Where a legitimated person or a child or remoter issue of a legitimated person dies intestate in respect of all or any of his real or personal property, the same persons shall be entitled to take the same interests therein as they would have been entitled to take if the legitimated person had been born legitimate.

5Application to illegitimate person dying before marriage of parents.N.I.

Where an illegitimate person dies after the commencement of this Act and before the marriage of his parents leaving any spouse, children or remoter issue living at the date of such marriage, then, if that person would, if living at the time of the marriage of his parents, have become a legitimated person, the provisions of this Act with respect to the taking of interests in property by, or in succession to, the spouse, children and remoter issue of a legitimated person (including those relating to the rate of death duties) shall apply as if such person as aforesaid had been a legitimated person and the date of the marriage of his parents had been the date of legitimation.

6Personal rights and obligations of legitimated persons.N.I.

(1)A legitimated person shall have the same rights, and shall be under the same obligations in respect of the maintenance and support of himself or of any other person, as if he had been born legitimate, and, subject to the provisions of this Act, the provisions of any Act relating to claims for damages, compensation, allowance, benefit, or otherwise by or in respect of a legitimate child shall apply in like manner in the case of a legitimated person.

Subs. (2) rep. by SLR (NI) 1952

7Death duties.N.I.

Where a legitimated person or any relative of a legitimated person takes any interest in real or personal property, any…F5 duty which becomes leviable after the date of legitimation shall be payable at the same rate as if the legitimated person had been born legitimate.

Annotations:

8Provisions as to persons legitimated by extraneous law.N.I.

(1)Where the parents of an illegitimate person marry or have married one another, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, and the father of the illegitimate person was or is, at the time of the marriage, domiciled in a country, other than Northern Ireland, by the law of which the illegitimate person became legitimated by virtue of such subsequent marriage, that person, if living, shall in Northern Ireland be recognised as having been so legitimated from the commencement of this Act or from the date of the marriage, whichever last happens, notwithstanding that his father was not at the time of the birth of such person domiciled in a country in which legitimation by subsequent marriage was permitted by law.

[F6(1A) Where—

(a) a person (“the child”) has a parent (“the female parent”) by virtue of section 43 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (treatment provided to woman who agrees that second woman to be parent);

(b) at the time of the child's birth, the female parent and the child's mother are not civil partners of each other;

(c) the female parent and the child's mother subsequently enter into a civil partnership; and

(d) the female parent is at the time of the formation of the civil partnership domiciled in a country, other than Northern Ireland, by the law of which the child became legitimated by virtue of the civil partnership;

the child, if living, shall in Northern Ireland be recognised as having been so legitimated from the date of the formation of the civil partnership notwithstanding that, at the time of the child's birth, the female parent was not domiciled in a country the law of which permitted legitimation by subsequent civil partnership.]

(2)All the provisions of this Act relating to legitimated persons and to the taking of interests in property by or in succession to a legitimated person and the spouse, children and remoter issue of a legitimated person (including those relating to the rate of death duties) shall apply in the case of a person recognised as having been legitimated under this section, or who would, had he survived the marriage of his parents, have been so recognised; and, accordingly, this Act shall have effect as if references therein to a legitimated person included a person so recognised as having been legitimated.

(3)For the purposes of this section, the expression “country” includes England and Wales, Scotland and any other part of His Majesty's Dominions, as well as a foreign country.

[F78A Legitimation of adopted child. N.I.

(1) Article 40 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 does not prevent an adopted child being legitimated under section 1 or 8 if either natural parent is the sole adoptive parent.

(2) Where an adopted child (with a sole adoptive parent) is legitimated—

(a) paragraph (2) of Article 40 shall not apply after the legitimation to the natural relationship with the other natural parent; and

(b) revocation of the adoption order in consequence of the legitimation shall not affect Articles 40 to 42 as they apply to any instrument made before the date of legitimation.]

Annotations:

F7 1995 NI 2

S. 9 rep. by 1977 NI 17

10Savings.N.I.

(1)Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the succession to any dignity or title of honour or as rendering any person capable of succeeding to or transmitting a right to succeed to any such dignity or title.

(2)Nothing in this Act shall affect the operation or construction of any disposition coming into operation before the commencement of this Act, or affect any rights under the intestacy of a person dying before the commencement of this Act.

11Interpretation.N.I.

For the purposes of this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:—

Annotations:

F8 S. 11: words in the definition of "date of legitimation" inserted (6.4.2009) by Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (c. 22), ss. 56, 68(2), Sch. 6 para. 59; S.I. 2009/479, art. 6(d)(f) (with art. 7, Sch. 1)

12Short title.N.I.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland), 1928.

Subs. (2) rep. by SLR (NI) 1952

N.I.

Schedule rep. by 1967 c. 25 (NI)