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An illegitimate child

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Posted by Osamede Osunde (28-09-2016)

All babies are born equal! It is we, the adults that stick the labels on them. But in their innocence they are all equally charming and loveable.

So, why then, in this so-called age of enlightenment are we intelligent adults placing some into a category that we call “Illegitimate”. The dictionary describes such a state as being “not authorized by law”. A child not born within marriage is not lawfully born?

Firstly, what are laws but rules prescribed by men and women for the benefit of those in control of society at the time. History is replete with examples of laws that operated, that in the fullness of time were judged to be brutal, draconian, and an outrage to modern-day decency. Laws that made legitimate the practise of discrimination, oppression of minorities and women, and the ownership of slaves, are but a few of the more despicable lawful acts that have shown the depravity of men against their fellow human beings, when left unchecked.

There is apparently a country where the law states that no virgin may marry. All virgins must be officially de-flowered by men for whom this is their only job. The families must pay to have this done. It’s the law! Is it a just law that deserves the respect and civil obedience? Of course not!

Getting back to this odious law that makes an innocent baby guilty of a crime, who benefits? I can only think of one class of person to gain, and that is the man who has extra-marital affairs, or who fathers his children exclusively outside marriage. Through this law such offspring are disallowed from claiming a right to inherit along with those children within his marriage, if he is married. They are also forestalled from enjoying several other rights that otherwise they would be entitled to.

The shameful state of affairs that exists is that the law protects the guilty and condemns the innocent. 

As if to underscore the point that I am trying to make, there are men who quite deliberately father as many children as they can with as many dumb women as they can find. These men define their manhood by being able to brag about the number of children they have fathered. Of course, such idiots do not care for any of them.

Fortunately those born outside of wedlock need not find such circumstances an impediment to leading a normal life. Many such persons rise to positions of great prominence and power, including the power to make change. The question is asked, then why don’t they? It is difficult to understand why this antiquated law is not finally done away with. It needs to be thrown out with all the other embarrassing trash of the past. Its continued existence is an embarrassment to all decent minded citizens; it encourages irresponsible behaviour on the part of certain men, who know that the consequences of their actions are limited; and as for the individuals themselves who come to realise that they are not legitimate, they almost universally suffer an unnecessarily painful humiliation, imposed upon them by the law, and unwittingly, their parents.


In certain parts of the United States of America, history tells of a time when one man could lawfully have owned another as his property, as though the human was an animal. In certain parts of Africa today, it is still completely lawful to own slaves. There are laws that make female castration legal. Should such laws be changed without delay? Of course they should!

One place to begin would be to ascertain whether this is one man’s irrelevant rant, or whether there is significant support for repeal or radical amendment of the various legal Acts that give life to the branding of a person as one who has no legitimate right to exist. Presumably there is also the school of thought that holds that no change should be contemplated. I would appreciate hearing from both sides of the issue.

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