Disavowment Law and Legal Definition

Disavowment is the act of formally declining to take out letters of administration, assume an office, or accept a privilege or right. The following is an example of a Social Security ruling dealing with disavowal of paternity:

"The father of a child born out of wedlock publicly acknowledged such child as his child, received him as his own child into his family, and otherwise treated him as if he were a legitimate child, thus conferring legitimate status upon the child from birth under the applicable California law. Based upon such status, the child became entitled to child's insurance benefits on the father's earnings record. Subsequently, the father disavowed paternity of the child. Held, under California law, once the status of heir or legitimate child has been conferred on a child in the manner provided for by statute, this status cannot be changed by later actions of the father and, accordingly, the father's disavowal did not change the child's legitimate status."