HC Deb 23 February 1977 vol 926 cc585-6W
Mr. Ovenden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the provisions contained in Acts of Parliament, regulations or rules which are the responsibility of his Department and which afford unequal treatment between an illegitimate and a legitimate child or between the parent of a legitimate child and the parent of an illegitimate child.

Mr. John

Section 14(2)and (4) of the Guardianship of Minors Act 1971 precludes the parent of an illegitimate child from obtaining maintenance for the child in guardianship proceedings. The mother can, however, obtain maintenance from the father, on proof of his paternity, under the Affiliation Proceedings Act 1957, as amended. Before ordering maintenance for an illegitimate child in matrimonial proceedings the court is required by Section 2(5) of the Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1960 to have regard to the extent to which the party to the marriage has assumed responsibility for the child. There is a minor difference in treatment in Section 34(3) and Section 45 of the Children Act 1975, which are not yet in force. Under the British Nationality Act 1948, as amended, an illegitimate child cannot acquire citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent unless subsequently legitimated. By virtue of Section 2(3)(a) of the Immigration Act 1971 patriality cannot be claimed through the paternal line unless descent is legitimate.

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