The Law won't Recognize Child Born Out of Wedlock without Fair and Square Legalization Proceedings in Indonesia

Saturday, 29 July 2023 08:02


There has been quite significant developments in the legalization of child born out of wedlock in Indonesia. It aims to protect and uphold the rights of those children from social stigmas. They were often marginalized and therefore had an impact on their ability to access their privileges. They have issues in getting their basic rights such as birth certificate, school, education, health services, etc. 

In 2013, significant changes took place thanks to the Constitutional Court. They imposed that the child status as “illegitimate” was unfair, biased and violated the children’s basic rights. This is a breakthrough in providing equal protection according to law for all the children. The court’s decision acknowledged equal protection to the children born out of wedlock, no matter their marital status.

A Historical Timeline

Various legal frameworks have been in place within Indonesia’s legal system in terms of child legalization born out of wedlock. The legal frameworks bring the child status within the society in Indonesia and therefore have been shaped by the laws timeline.  

The evolution has been slow but at least we recognize four (4) different eras that shaped the ups and downs of the rights and status of the children born out of wedlock:

  1. Pre-Independence Period.
  2. Colonial Era.
  3. Post-Independence Period.
  4. Reform Era.

Overall, the historical timeline of legal perspectives on children born out of wedlock in Indonesia reflects a transition from social stigma and discrimination to greater legal recognition and protection. These developments signify Indonesia's commitment to ensuring the rights and equal treatment of all its citizens, regardless of their marital status.

So, this is good news for you if you’ve decided to father your child born out of wedlock. Indonesia can be a venue for doing so and its legal framework can be very useful in getting your own paternity privilege that is recognized worldwide. 

Why Does Your Child Need It?

First of all, child legalization provides legal documentation for your child. The documents such as birth certificate, passports are important for them to access education, healthcare, and other essential services. Without those documents, your child may be left behind. Your child may not be able to participate in the society with their full potential. 

Second, your child born out of wedlock can be protected from social stigma and discrimination. Their basic rights will be recognized. It promotes inclusivity within the society where your child lives. It also will prevent your child from having challenges in their daily social relations. 

Third, parental accountability. As a father, you are encouraged to acknowledge your child born out of wedlock. You can provide financial support and other social recognition such as inheritance rights. 

Legal Grounds for Child Legalization

Indonesia is an advanced country in terms of child legalization proceedings. We have two strong legal grounds in relation to this delicate matter. 

First, 1974 Marriage Law. This is the basic law that recognizes a child born out of wedlock in our legal system. The law imposed that the illegitimate child has only a legal relationship with their mother and her family.

Second, the decree from Indonesia’s Constitutional Court in the year of 2003 that created a paternal relationship between the child and their alleged father and his family. The relationship must be based on the law and evidence and therefore require court approval. No child legalization without court order. 

So, I need you to rest assured that the legalization of your child born out of wedlock in Indonesia is strong and legally recognized. It is also worldwide recognized. You can mirror it elsewhere. According to my experience working with various clients in this matter, you may claim citizenship by descent for your child. You may apply for a passport of your nationality for your child. This would open the world of opportunities for them. So, you’ve got to do this! Call me or email me if you need to discuss this any further.



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


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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