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CHAPTER VII.

ADOPTED CHILDREN AND BASTARDS.

SECTION 55. ADOPTION.

Adoption is the act by which relations of paternity and affiliation are recognized as legally existing between persons not so related by nature.'

SECTION 56. ADOPTION AT COMMON LAW AND BY

STATUTE.

The common law did not recognize the adoption of a child. This right is now given by statute in each of the states. A child adopted under modern statutes stands in the same position as a natural child except for such exceptions as may be contained in the statute authorizing such adoption. Laws authorizing the adoption of children are generally held to have no extra-territorial effect. The adoption of a child, under a statute authorizing such adoption, can never have the effect of defeating a vested interest in property.

SECTION 57. INHERITANCE BY OR FROM ADOPTED

CHILDREN.

Adopted children have the right of inheritance from their adopting parents to the same extent as natural children; they cannot, however, inherit through · Am. & Eng. Ency. of Law, Vol. I,

Abney vs. De Laach, 84 Ala., p. 726. Adoption is the taking

393. Adoptıɔn is the legal act into one's family a child of

whereby an adult person takes another as son and heir, confer

a minor into the relation of ring on it a title to the privi

child and thereby acquires the leges and rights of a natural rights and incurs the responsiBhild. An act, in other words, bility of a parent in respect to by which a person appoints as

such minor. (N. Y. State, bis heir the child of another.

1873, C. 830.)

such adopting parents. Adopted children, also, retain their right to inherit from their natural parents. Adopting parents cannot inherit from their adopted children except property which such adopted children had previously received from them.

SECTION 58. BASTARDS. A bastard is a child born out of lawful matrimony. A bastard was legitimized by the after marriage of his parents according to the rule of the civil law, but not ccording to the rule of the common law. By statute, in most of the states of this country, he is legitimized by such after marriage.

According to the common law, a bastard could inherit from nobody. In most of the states of this country, he can inherit from his mother or from any maternal ancestor. By common law, all children of a void marriage were bastards. In most of the states of this country, they will be held to be legitimate, unless the marriage was dissolved on account of a prior marriage.

If the parents of a child treat him as a legitimate child, especially if such treatment continues until their death, this will be presumptive evidence of the legitimacy of the child. The resemblance of child and alleged parent may be permitted as evidence. This kind of evidence will, however, generally be admitted only in support of other evidence, and will never be sufficient proof of parentage by itself.

The personal status of an alleged bastard will be determined by the laws of the place of domicile of the said alleged bastard, while his right to inherit property will be determined by the laws of the place in which the property is situated.

The issue of slave marriages were considered as bastards, but upon the emancipation of the slaves, curative acts were passed in most of the Southern states, legitimizing the issue of such marriages.

The only evidence which will be admitted to prove the child of a married woman a bastard, will be the impossibility of access of husband to wife, or that the child was born a longer time after the death of the husband than the longest possible period of gestation. Perhaps to these two cases should be added the case where both, husband and wife, are of one color and the child of another, as where both are white and the child a mulatto.

Parties to a marriage will not be allowed to testify as to the absence of sexual intercourse between them. In the absence of statutory provisions on the subject, the parents of a bastard are not bound to support him.

The general rule is that the domicile of a bastard follows that of his mother. Most of the cases on this point are English cases arising out of disputes between parishes over which was liable for the support of a bastard.?

"A Bastard," at Common Law is

one not only begotten not born out of lawful matrimony, or not within a competent time after its determination, or who is be

gotten in lawful matrimony when procreation by the husband is for any cause impossible. Am. & Eng. Ency. of Law, Vol. I, p. 872.

CHAPTER VIII.

INFANTS.

SECTION 59. DEFINITION.

An infant is any person under the age of 21 years. In some states, including Illinois, a female becomes of age at the age of 18 years.

SECTION 60.

LIABILITY OF AN INFANT ON HIS CON-
TRACTS AND TORTS.

An infant is in general not bound by his contracts. The exception to this last rule is that any infant is bound by his contract for necessaries. Necessaries include whatever may be required for the support and maintenance of the infant in the station of life in which he belongs.

An adult who contracts with an infant, is bound by his contract. An infant's right to disaffirm his contract is personal to the infant and can only be taken advantage of by the infant or those in privity with him.

An infant is liable on a bastardy bond, on a contract made in settlement of a tort and on a contract of marriage, but not on a warranty, on a contract of suretyship or on a partnership contract.

The contract of an infant may be ratified, at any time after he attains his majority, either by express words or by any action on his part which clearly shows his intention to ratify the contract.

A contract of an infant may be disaffirmed, at any time before he reaches his majority, or within a reasonable time thereafter, either by express words of

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