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Child Born Out of Wedlock in Indonesia

Friday, 02 March 2018
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Child born out of wedlock in Indonesia has legal relationship with its biological mother and her family only. This principle is reflected on the child's birth certificate. It means the birth certificate of a child born out of legal wedlock cannot include the name of its father. That was ancient regulation before we have a breakthrough from the Constitutional Court. Nowadays, children born out of wedlock has legal relationship with the acclaimed biological father. The claims must be supported with the scientific evidence such as DNA test, among others. 

Article 43 (1) of 1974 Marriage Law has been recently amended to include the biological father as parent of the child born out of wedlock. This ruling was meant to protect the child’s basic right. Just because we recognize the legal relationship between the father and his child born out of wedlock, it doesn’t mean to attack the legal marriage and its legitimate children. The relationship does not automatically entitles the child to the legal rights as if it was born into the legal marriage. Nevertheless, it may be the basis to create "the bridge" between the acclaimed father and the child in regard to the child's rights in claiming child supports, education, inheritance, etc. Well, at least you need to start somewhere, right? 

The legal proceedings under the amended Article 43 (1) of the Marriage Law is very useful for the children born outside of the legal marriage. This is because they can have a birth certificate with complete names of the parents. Both names of the father and mother printed on its birth certificate. This is a milestone to a new world of opportunities for them. This is similar to child legalization proceeding. Without the proceeding, the child may entitle to a birth certificate with mother’s name only. They said our legal system legally bastardizing them. They won't be, as long as you as the father would like to recognize them. It's your flesh and blood anyway. So, give them what they need: the birth certificate with the full names of the parents.

The best thing about this, it does not have to come with the marriage of the parents. Do I mention something about tying the know at some point? No. It's up to you! Sometimes, messy things between the two of you doesn't have to make your "champ" suffers. All you need is to talk to each other, sit down in the same table with your Indonesian lawyer and get the ball rolling. Well, I am not the guy who against the spiritual and emotional bonds like they do have in those married couples. What's important is the father's acknowledgment. It does really matters to your child. What a simplified legal system, huh? We make things simple. It's up to you to keep it simple, or the otherwise. All you have to do is to supply the evidence. This is the most convenient way, considering the absence of your marriage certificate.

Well, let me completely be honest with you. I understand that you may not be able to supply the marriage certificate due to various reasons. You did perform the marriage, but it may not performed properly according to the marriage regulation. It's called unregistered marriage. In Indonesia, some called it "Nikah Siri." Or, you never get marry before and the child conceived out of the adulterous relationship. A marriage is one thing, and a child is another thing. I am not going to cast a stone at you. You don't have to do it if the marriage is not a scenario. So, you can do this proceeding under the Article 43 (1) of the Marriage Law without getting marry first.

I dedicate this article to a Swiss-Indonesian couple whose child born out of wedlock. They got rejected everywhere. At the civil registry. Even at the court. I do understand your frustration. Well, the system is not attacking you. Don't take it personally.  You just have to look further. Good luck, and God speed!

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

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