THE SOB FOUNDATION

To preserve, protect, and defend the rights of those born out of wedlock.

 

Legitimate Child Act

State of Maryland Example

LEGITIMATE CHILD ACT

(One Minute Marriagetm)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 In the State of Maryland, 37.1% of all births were born out-of-wedlock in 2005, i.e., 27,807 additional illegitimate children growing to be adults.  [Final data on illegitimate births for 2006 and 2007 have not been released to date.]  On average for the last ten years, over 36% of all live births annually in the State of Maryland have been to unwed mothers.  For whatever reason, the biological parents of these children chose not to marry prior to the birth of their child, thus imprinting these children as "bastards" for not only the rest of their natural lives, but throughout the child/adults entire legacy.  None of this has ever been the fault of the bastard child nor is it presently preventable by the child absent this proposed law.

 Thus, for the sake of these unborn children and their families, and without regard to any parental conflicts or issues at the time, this petition solicits a bipartisan supported bill, whose passage would provide the following example of a State of Maryland law:

  •  Provide for and encourage the biological unmarried single parents of the unborn child to apply for and receive a marriage license, a certificate of marriage, and simultaneously receive a decree of divorce, thereafter legitimizing the birth of their biological child FOREVER.

 BACKGROUND

 Counties within the State of Maryland issue marriage licenses and perform ceremonies for couples residing in that county to wed.  Many couples do wed before and after the birth of their first child and remain married for a period of time before divorcing.  However, there are a significant number (almost 28,000 in 2005) of biological parents of Maryland children each year who choose not to marry for a variety of reasons:

  •  The father refutes paternity of the child.
  • The father admits paternity but still refuses to marry the biological mother.
  • The mother refuses to marry the biological father.
  • Relatives of the couple do not accept the biological father/mother into the family.
  • The ages, maturity, economic, and/or emotional conditions of either or both parents discourage the marriage.

 Regardless of the reasons for not marrying, the legal definition of illegitimacy is the birth of a child out-of-wedlock.  The "Law of Bastards" does provide some protection to the bastard child/adult, but little if any of that protection usurps the rights of the legitimate children born within the marriage of the biological parents.

 THE ONE MINUTE MARRIAGEtm VEHICLE

 The law would solicit impending parents (both) to petition for simultaneous marriage and divorce in the State of Maryland by using the following proposed vehicle:

  •  The pregnant parents would personally execute the One Minute Marriage* and divorce certificate/decree in their local jurisdiction or library.
  •  The State of Maryland would make such certificates/decrees available by computer, so the potential parents require no personal appearance, but both may execute the petition on-line.
  •  The State of Maryland could issue to any and all parents, nationally and internationally, such marriage/divorce certificate/decrees without regard to the State of the potential parents residency.
  •  The non-refundable fee(s) for the certificate of the marriage/divorce decree should be set by the State, for and on behalf of the local jurisdictions and/or counties.

 BENEFITS OF THIS LAW

  • Passing this bill shall provide a vehicle for any child conceived before marriage to be legitimized before birth with little emotional and economic conditions, which tend to prevent and discourage such marriages from occurring beforehand.
  •  Prevent tens of thousand children and then adults per year from having to wear the "bastard" stigmatism forever.
  •  With both parents petitioning the State for the decree, prima-facie evidence is gained for any subsequent proof of paternity necessary for the child in the future.
  •  The State gains economic benefits through the fees charged for providing the certificate/decrees.
  • After the birth and legitimization of the child, the parents may still marry without the pressure of an impending birth, wedding ceremony, etc.
  •  Significantly decreasing the out-of-wedlock birth rates; reversing an ever-increasing trend in the State of Maryland and Nationally.
  •  All States and DC are eligible for up to $100 million annually in "Illegitimacy Bonus" money from the Federal Government for improving out-of-wedlock birth rates.

COSTS OF THIS LAW

  • The costs associated with writing and passing the bill into law.
  •  Designing, developing, publicizing the program and certificates.
  •  Testing and hosting the recommended State One Minute Marriage*  web site.
  •  Promulgating the program for unmarried single pregnant couples nationally.
  •  Archiving the information for future reference, similar to birth certificates. 

 

*trade mark

 

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