Illegitimate Child Law and Legal Definition

Illegitimate child is a child not born out of a wedlock. The terms non marital child or bastard are also used inter-changeably to refer to an illegitimate child. Under common law, there is a presumption that children born to a married woman is legitimate. Children born in a bigamous relationship or an annulled marriage is not considered as legitimate. Under Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. constitution, legitimate and illegitimate children are given equal protection of law. An illegitimate child can also inherit property. In the U.S., children born out of a void or voidable marriage is given a legitimate status.