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The process of replacing the status of illegitimacy by that of legitimacy. A living child may be legitimated if his parents marry one another, provided that the father is domiciled in England or Wales at the date of the marriage. Evidence that the husband recognized the child as his own may be sufficient to establish his paternity for purposes of legitimation. Legitimation takes effect from the date of the marriage and the child is treated thereafter as if he had been born legitimate. Under the Family Law Act 1986, a person may seek a court declaration that he is a legitimated person.

Subjects: Law.

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