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Internet and Child Abduction

Internet and Child Abduction

American youth of today spend hours of their time on the internet playing games, chatting with friends, and looking up information on various websites. Youth are more wired today than ever before, with over 90 percent of American children aged 12-17 having internet access. This extended time spent on the internet has led many parents to worry about the safety and security of their children.
While the internet is anonymous, studies have found that nearly one in every four children receive unwanted sexual solicitations over the internet. Only about 20 percent of children report these messages to their parents or a trusted adult, and many children will choose to ignore such messages. Still, some children will consider meeting these anonymous internet individuals despite what they know to be in their best interests.
Due to a lack of experience and naivety, children are noticeably more gullible than adults. As a result, child predators can utilize the internet as a tool for victimizing children, often posing as peers to trick children into a physical meeting.
These internet child predators have become more common as the internet continues to grow in popularity and as children begin to use the internet at a younger age. With the social expectations of independence growing as well, children are also gaining more responsibility at a younger age. All of these changes have made children more susceptible to victimization, especially over the internet.
The television show “To Catch A Predator” focused on internet child predators and the kidnapping of children. In the show, hidden cameras and actors lure potential child predators under the pretense of sexual encounters with a minor. 

What are the Implications on Inheritance

What are the Implications on Inheritance

Laws governing illegitimacy have changed drastically over the last century. Children who were born to unmarried parents were often outcasts from society. There was a time when an acknowledgment of paternity did not matter in terms of defining a family unit or granting the child legitimacy.
These children were often not allowed to receive any inheritance from their parents, especially from their fathers, unless it was stated specifically in the father’s will. Paternity was something that could be acknowledged and represented by an individual, but the State put major barriers in the way of anyone who attempted to inherit their parents’ estates. 
English law in particular set the harshest standards for determining illegitimacy rights. Since the laws were set in the hopes of preventing births outside wedlock, the laws were meant to punish the unmarried parents by punishing their illegitimate children. Inheritance laws reflected this.  
In America, the laws were relaxed in the late 1700s to grant children born into illegitimacy the rights to a mother’s property, family name and estate. A father could acknowledge paternity by leaving property to an illegitimate child in his will, but they would have to specifically name the child. State rather than Federal laws were likely to control the inheritance rights of the illegitimate children. 
In 1820, the Supreme Court tried to decipher Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute, which relaxed the strict laws that governed illegitimacy. They ruled in Stevenson’s Heirs v. Sullivan that illegitimate children could not inherit from their brothers or sisters, nor could mothers claim the inheritance rights to an illegitimate child’s estates.
Other important Supreme Court cases included Levy v. Louisiana in 1968 and Stanley v. Illinois in 1972, two cases which granted more inheritance rights to children born into illegitimacy.
Children born to unmarried parents now have almost every legal right that legitimate children have. However, new legal battles about inheritance for children born into illegitimacy still occur.

Understanding The Push Towards Legal Equality

Understanding The Push Towards Legal Equality

The terms illegitimate and legitimate have taken on new meanings in modern day society.  For centuries, most illegitimate children suffered due to lack of financial support. Lacking the status required to inherit property, many were denied any rights to their parents’ estates.  
One of the first major changes to reform laws governing legitimate and illegitimate children came in 1926 with the Legitimacy Act of 1926. This law stated that children could be made legitimate if their parents married after they were born, as long as neither parent was married to another person at the time that the child was conceived. This was a big victory for the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child, which had been founded in 1918 and fought hard for the rights of illegitimate children. 
Another major change came with the reformed Legitimacy Act of 1959. An updated version of the previous legitimacy law, this gave children legitimacy even if their parents were not free to marry at the time of their birth due to another reason. In 1969, another updated version of the Legitimacy Act was put into play, giving children the right to inherit from either side of the family. 
The changes in the laws regarding illegitimate and legitimate children changed as the number of illegitimate children in society grew. The legal equality that children know today, regardless of their legitimacy status, is relatively new.

What Are Heredity Titles

What Are Heredity Titles

Legitimacy in a child’s birth is less important than it used to be. Throughout history, legitimacy has determined many factors for a child. However, although illegitimate children are generally not supposed to ascend to the throne of a kingdom, there have been many illegitimate children able to gain royal hereditary titles.
Legitimacy remains relevant when discussing hereditary titles. A hereditary title is generally considered to be a title or position that remains in a family. Children who lacked legitimacy used to not be considered valid members of a family. Accordingly, they were not given the same legal or civil rights that legitimate children had. In today’s society, legitimacy does not determine how the child will be treated under the law, but legitimacy and hereditary titles are still related. 
Hereditary succession is a method by which one’s title is passed onto their children upon their death. Modern day society now mostly uses elections to determine political power. Generally, hereditary titles tend to fall to the eldest son in a family. If there is no son, then it is possible for a hereditary title to fall to a daughter, although it was less desirable. A daughter lacking legitimacy was not always considered an option when it came to leaving a royal title to an heir. However, Elizabeth I of England took the throne despite the fact that her parents’ marriage had been annulled.  
Other famous royalty who lacked legitimacy included William the Conqueror and Henry II of Castile, from Portugal. William the Conqueror became the King of England after conquering it in 1066. He was also called William the Bastard, as a nod to the fact that he lacked legitimacy. His hereditary title was won rather than inherited.
Henry II of Castile had a different kind of story. He murdered his legitimate half brother, Pedro the Cruel, in order to take power from him. The Portuguese people chose to recognize his claim to power and the heredity title over his half niece.
Many countries consider the term illegitimate to be one that has no legal or social bearing on anyone’s lives anymore. However, hereditary titles do sometimes rely on legitimacy, depending on the circumstances.
While obtaining a royal hereditary title may rely on one’s legitimacy, there are still times when a child who is born to unmarried royalty may obtain a title, though they were born out of wedlock.

Quick Overview of Coinage of Bastardy

Quick Overview of Coinage of Bastardy

The term bastardy used to refer to a child born to an unmarried mother. Another word for bastardy is illegitimate. Both words have fallen out of common usage. The term that is commonly used today is out of wedlock. However, for centuries bastard was used to describe a child born to unwed parents.
The word bastard was less of a legal term than an insult. In fact, the word bastardy has always been insulting, long before the informal meaning of the word developed. The word bastardy also refers to a man who has violent tendencies. 
In history, the process of filing a lawsuit to determine paternity was called a bastardy proceeding. The bastardy proceeding would be filed by the unmarried mother in order to gain financial support from the father of the child.
An unmarried mother can establish paternity of a child in several ways. One of the ways is if the father signs an acknowledgment of paternity at birth. Another way is through a paternity suit. An unmarried mother who files a modern day bastardy proceeding will likely be granted some type of DNA test. 
The word bastardy has a long history. Although the term is no longer used to describe the status of a child of an unmarried mother, the word is still insulting.

What Does It Mean to Be Legitimated

What Does It Mean to Be Legitimated

At one time, for a child to be legitimated they had be born to parents that were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth. Current laws give a legitimate child some different rights than an illegitimate child, but the definitions of legitimate and illegitimate are different from what they were in the past as well. 
Legally, a child becomes legitimate when the child’s out of wedlock father becomes their legal father. Current family law states that once a child is officially acknowledged by a father, they have the right to inherit the father’s estate. A legitimate child also has the right to receive financial support.
A child is always considered to be legitimate if the parents are married at the time of birth. Under canon law, which is a set of laws that govern the Catholic church, children can be legitimated if their parents marry within a certain time period after their birth. Throughout history, the time period given has usually been 12 months.
Canon law also dictates that a child can only be made legitimate if the parents of that child could have been married at the time of conception. This means that if either parent was married to someone else at the the time of conception, the child cannot be legitimated. Civil children’s law used to follow the same guidelines. 
Children law favored the legitimate child for centuries. Only within the past 50 years have any real changes and reform come to help illegitimate children. Law in all 50 states currently allows illegitimate children the same inheritance and support rights that legitimate children have. Other countries besides the United States have also begun using some of these reformed laws.  
Under standard current children’s law, a child is legitimate if paternity is acknowledged, not if the parents are married at the time of birth. A woman can seek an order to have the child legitimated. 
As in the past, a legitimate child and an illegitimate child have different rights under children’s law. However, unlike in the past, legitimacy does not refer to the parents’ marital status. Instead a legitimate child is one who has been legally claimed by their father. This makes determining legitimacy somewhat easier to obtain than it has been throughout history, as parents are not forced to marry for the child’s sake.

Understanding The Legitimacy Issues

Understanding The Legitimacy Issues

Unmarried women have been giving birth to illegitimate children for centuries. Legitimacy issues in society have usually revolved more around the unmarried women who carry the children than the men that impregnate them. For centuries, men were not held responsible for impregnating women outside of adoption.
Many famous individuals throughout history were born to unmarried women and suffered as a result. Leonardo da Vinci and Alexander Hamilton both lacked legitimacy. Others suffered embarrassment and shame by giving birth without being married. Albert Einstein and his fiance had a daughter out of wedlock. Einstein’s fiance insisted that they maintain residences in separate cities to lessen the humiliation of having the child before getting married. Although they later had two sons, the daughter’s whereabouts remain unknown, although it is thought that she may have been given up for adoption. 
Of all the laws that governed children born to unmarried women, England’s were the harshest. While other countries often allowed a child to gain legitimacy if the parents married, England did not. The laws governing illegitimate children in England considered the children to have no parents at all, regardless of whom claimed them. The laws were meant to shame the unmarried parents of the child by punishing the child.
These strict laws remained in practice until the mid 1920s. Even then, the reforms regarding a child’s legitimacy were scarce. In the 1920s, reforms for the laws governing these illegitimate children began slowly, giving children the right to become legitimate if their parents later married, as long as the parents could have legally married at the time of conception.
Legitimacy used to be a status coveted by those who did not have it. Now, many people do not give legitimacy any consideration since such a growing number of individuals are born to unmarried couples each year. Being unmarried while conceiving or having a child is now a matter or personal preference rather than a legal and social problem.