A child born out of wedlock is a child whose parents weren’t legally married before and after he or she was born. Other may include children whose fathers denied the pregnancy or whose mothers refused to take up their responsibilities as the parent and guardian.
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Legally, the mother has the right to custody of a child born out of wedlock to the exclusion of the father, and if the father must be awarded full custody of the child, he must sufficiently prove that the mother is unfit.
According to Nigerian customary law, as it is applicable in most parts of Nigeria, if a woman gives birth to a child when she is not married to the child’s biological father, the custody of the child is usually deemed to the mother or the father of the woman and will continue to be so even after the child has been acknowledged by the father.
Therefore, if a lady should give birth before marriage, the child belongs to her parents whether the biological father has acknowledged it or not.
The major challenge facing children born out of wedlock is the society which they live in. Sometimes, they are marginalized and may not be given their fair share when the family resources are distributed.
It is advisable to note that every child, no matter the circumstances of his or her birth, deserves the best and enjoys the full coverage of the Law.
These rights are not negotiable and can be enforced against a parent, government or any authority or institution in whose care a child is placed.
The major victims of violations are children born out of wedlock and the mothers in whose possession the children are abandoned or deserted, most times without the means to cater for them.
These victims are not helpless as succor and remedy can be found in the applicable legislation when the matter is taken up.
Content created and supplied by: FrankChukwu (via Opera News )
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