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May 6, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(18):1832-1833. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800180056018

Whether a child begotten from artificial insemination is legitimate or illegitimate according to the law is an important question. If the child is illegitimate and if the husband of its mother fails to adopt it legally, the child does not acquire inheritable rights from the husband. A child is legitimate if its parents are intermarried when it is begotten or born. Statutes generally legitimatize also the issue of illicit intercourse if the parents intermarry, even though the intermarriage occurs after birth. The fact that conception is effected not by adultery or fornication but by a method not involving sexual intercourse does not in principle seem to alter the concept of legitimacy. This concept seems to demand that the child be the actual offspring of the husband of the mother of the child.

The presumption of law that a child born during wedlock is legitimate is not absolute and conclusive under