Legitimation is a legal process by which a child born out of wedlock can establish a legal relationship with their biological father. In most jurisdictions, a child born to unmarried parents does not have a legal father, and the father must take certain steps to establish his paternity and legal rights and responsibilities.

The legitimation process varies depending on the jurisdiction, but typically involves the biological father filing a petition with the court to establish his paternity and seek legal recognition as the child’s father. The mother of the child must also be notified of the petition and may have the opportunity to contest it.

Once paternity has been established, the father may be granted certain legal rights and responsibilities, such as the right to seek custody or visitation with the child, the obligation to pay child support, and the ability to provide health insurance and make important decisions about the child’s upbringing.

In addition to legitimation through the court system, some jurisdictions may also recognize paternity through other means, such as a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form signed by both parents at the time of the child’s birth.

Legitimation can have significant legal implications for both the father and the child, and it is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to understand the legal requirements and options available.