How to Legalize Child Born Out of Wedlock in Indonesia

Monday, 05 March 2018 13:48

Child born out of wedlock in Indonesia doesn’t have its father’s name printed on the birth certificate. He/she can only have relationship with its mother and her mother’s family. The child doesn’t have any relationship with the biological father. Not until you as the father acknowledges it or legalizes it into his marriage to the child ‘s mother. You must support your acknowledgment with a DNA test, and the two witnesses taking the stand at the court of law. This proceeding is conducted in order to prove blood relationship between the child and the father. It will then creates legal relationship between the two of them. This is the essence of the rule in Article 43 (1) of the Marriage Law as amended by the Constitutional Court number 46/PUU-VIII/2010 dated Feb. 17, 2012.  

Furthermore, the amended Article 43 (1) stipulates as follow: "The child born out of wedlock has legal relationship with the biological mother and her family, and has legal relationship with the alleged father proven with scientific evidence and/or other evidence according to the laws that they have blood relationship, including civil law relationship with the father's family."

You don’t need to fix the legality of the marriage in order to acknowledge the child born out of wedlock. This is about getting a child legalized. It’s about getting to know the child’s origin by having the father and the mother’s names printed on the child’s birth certificate. It’s not about getting a marriage legalization. Those are two different things. When you as the father acknowledges the child, the legal relationship between the child and the father will be created as stipulated by Article 280 of Civil Code.  

The legalization of child born out of wedlock is to give legal protection to all the children in this matter. The law must protect the children and make sure they get what they deserve, even though the marriage of the parents is still in question. The protection must be implemented in the form of birth certificate with all the parents’ names printed on it. Article 55 of Marriage Law stipulates that the origin of a child can only be supplied by authentic birth certificate. This is the basic rights that the child must be able to have. The certificate is very useful when the child is applying for the school, passport for travelling, and other basic rights for her/his nurturing needs.

The birth certificate of an out of wedlock child does not include the father's name. Only name of the mother. It says something like is: "Premarital son/daughter of a woman named [insert mother's name]." It's because when the child was born, it only related to the mother and her family legally. When a birth certificate does not include complete names of the parents, it does not tell you the origin of the child. It doesn't comply with Article 55 (1). In order to include the name of the father on the birth certificate, a father must acknowledge the child with the consent from the biological mother. Without it, the court may not be able to approve the legalization. So, in order to legalize your child born out of wedlock, you need to present a case with complete evidence. Otherwise, they may reject the case and your child remain illegitimate child for good. As the father, you won’t be able to have access to the child legally. You can’t have joint custody of the child. Many cases like this where fathers lost cases in the court fighting for the custody of their children. You have to be careful, because you only have one bite of the apple. You better make it works.

I am Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading. 


Our thanks to Asep Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!


The above is provided for informational purposes only and is NOT to be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney and should not be construed as a solicitation. No attorney-client relationship is established by use of information found within this article nor in this website.


My name is Asep Wijaya. I am an attorney. This article is about my works in the field of law I have been doing regarding legal issues in international civil law in Indonesia. You may use my articles without permission as long as you mention my name, the article tile, and our website address.

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