The Truth About Out of Wedlock Child Legalization in Indonesia

Monday, 19 March 2018 09:53

Child born out of wedlock in Indonesia may include its biological father on its birth certificate. The only way to do this is by getting the father acknowledge the child. They must support the claim with a DNA test, and backed by at least two witnesses. Furthermore, the legalization of a child must be court-approved. Otherwise, the civil law relationship between the father and his child will not be established. It is very important because this is where it all begins. 

The civil law relationship between the father and his child begins with a birth certificate. When you see his name on his child’s birth certificate, you will see they have something between them. This the truth lies in the amended Article 43 (1) of the Marriage Law. The legal protection given by the Constitutional Court with its breakthrough verdict. They are giving the child an identity printed on its birth certificate with full names of mom and dad. This is the real truth. You get the legal protection for the child in the form of a birth certificate. Nothing less, nothing more. Therefore, you need to do something about it for the sake of your child's future. 

Originally, the Article 43 (1) was not allow you to include the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate. It only recognize the relationship between the child and its biological mother. Some thinks that it’s not fair. Some thinks that it’s legally bastardizing the child. Other thinks we need to allow them to use both parents’ name on the child’s birth certificate, even though the marriage of the parents is still illegitimate. So, the amendment of this article is also about giving the child what they deserve and not to punish them for something what their parents did. The Civil Code furthermore imposed that as long as the child was acknowledged by the father and the mother, he/she may inherit from the parents. But the child may only have legal relationship with the person that acknowledge it. No further relationship with the rest of the family. In general, if a parent have legitimate children, a wife or a husband, the out of wedlock child entitles to only 1/3 of the legitimate child's share. 

As for Moslem couples, you need to dig this a little deeper as the amended Article 43 (1) will not create other consequences such as inheritance, and nasab relationship, as they thought they will have those two in the area of civil law. In Islamic Laws, if you’re conceiving a child outside of religious marriage, even though the father acknowledge it, the nasab relationship will not be established, even the father voluntarily acknowledge his child. Nasab relationship is parental relationship between the father and his child, created only through legitimate marriage betwen the father and the child's mother. Without it, there won’t be a nasab even the father acknowledges his child. This one of the inconvenient truths retrieved from the child legalization proceeding under the amended Article 43 (1) of the Marriage Certificate. 

If you're a Moslem, and you have an out of wedlock child, you need to refer further to the Islamic Compilation Law. This special civil law for Moslem couples governing activities like marriages, divorces, inheritances, and other issues related to family law. As for Non-moslem couples, you need to refer further to the Civil Code. According to those laws, both the Islamic Compilation Law, and the Civil Code, they imposed that child born out of wedlock can't inherit from the father, even though he acknowledges his child. This is a further legal consequences of child legalization as amended by the Article 43 (1). It seems to me, the amendment by the Constitutional Court was only to provide the child with a birth certificate with full parents' name. The ruling stops there. It does not solve any further complication regarding the issues related to the status of being an out of wedlock child. As parents of child born out of wedlock, you must not allow this to happen to you child. You need to do something. I would suggest you draw-up a last will and testament. This is the only possible solution to protect your child from the legal limbo regarding this issue in Indonesia

My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my posts.


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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