The word legitimacy does not carry the same
importance that it did in the past. While it is still used to refer to children
born to married parents, a child can be legitimate if their father legally
claims them by signing the birth certificate or a paternity acknowledgment.
Legitimacy, or the lack thereof, used to determine a child’s reputation as
well as that of the mother. Now many people do not give a thought to
whether or not a child is legitimate.
Legitimacy is of less importance in modern
times than it has been in the past. Legitimacy is frequently determined not by
whether or not the child was born to parents who were married or able to be
married to each other at the time of conception. The modern understanding of
legitimacy instead examines whether the child’s father has acknowledged their
paternity in regards to the child. Another modern concern is the legitimacy of
children conceived using donated sperm. Due to the
growing frequency with which illegitimate children have been born, legitimacy
has become a less pressing social concern. The one area
in which legitimacy continues to be an issue is related to citizenship of the child.