PR 01110.012 Georgia

A. PR 86-042 Status of Children of Putative Marriage Eugene E~, SS# ~

DATE: December 11, 1986



Where children who were born in Illinois to an invalid marriage are legitimate under Illinois law, we held that Georgia would look to the law of Illinois in determining the personal status of each child

(E~ , Eugene - SSN ~ - RAIV [A~] - to ARC, Progs., Atl., 12/11/86)


You have requested our advice on whether Georgia would look to the law of the domicile of birth to determine the personal status of children in the following situation. Eugene E~ married Katie R. E~ (also known as "Ruth") on August 12, 1955 in Russell County, Alabama. This marriage was invalid due to a previous undissolved marriage of Mr. E~ to a Willie M. S~. Katie E~ divorced Eugene E~ in September 1978 in Columbus, Georgia.

The divorce decree shows that Eugene and Katie were parents to one named dependent Eula E~ born in March 6, 1978. Eula E~ was awarded child benefits on Eugene E~'s earnings record which terminated in June 1986 due to Eula's reaching the age of eighteen.

In May 1986 Katie filed for children's benefits for Maurice E~ , born on October 6, 1971 and David E~, born on May 2, 1970. Both birth certificates show the place of birth as Chicago, Illinois.

You have stated that there is a presumption of legitimacy in Illinois and that Illinois law would accept Katie E~ as a putative spouse of the deceased and that any children born of the union are considered legitimate, citing Ill. Rev. Stat., chapter 40, paragraph 212(C). You further state that you are unable to rebut the presumption of legitimacy.

We have previously addressed the issue you presented as to whether the State of Georgia would look to the laws of Illinois to establish a child's status for benefit purposes in a similar situation involving the laws of Louisiana. We noted that:

It is a general principle of law that the status or condition of a person as legitimate or illegitimate is to be determined everywhere by the law of the domicile of origin, that is, the law under which he or she was born, except, of course, insofar as that status might be affected by acts subsequent to birth or by the validity of a marriage contracted elsewhere. Restatement, Conflict of Laws §§ 137, 138; 87 A.L.R. 2d 1292, 1293; 10 Am Jur.2d, Bastards § 9. See, Bell, Kenneth, ~, RAIV (W~) to Dir., IPB (7/28/82).

Consequently, it is our opinion that the state of Georgia would recognize the legitimate status of the two E~ children born in Chicago since they are legitimate under Illinois law.

B. PR 82-032 Kenneth B~, Deceased - ~ - Acknowledgment for Inheritance Rights - State of Louisiana

DATE: July 28, 1982


— STATUS UNDER ACT — Child - Illegitimate — LOUISIANA — INHERITANCE RIGHTS - By Illegitimate — GEORGIA

Although Georgia would look to the law of the domicile of birth, Louisiana, to determine the child's personal status (illegitimate), Georgia would not apply Louisiana's laws of descent and distribution to the estate of the deceased wage earner who died domiciled in Georgia. Applying Georgia law, an illegitimate child, who has been informally acknowledged would not have inheritance rights and is not entitled to surviving child's benefits under 42 U.S.C. § 416(h)(2)(A).

(B~, Kenneth, Deceased, ~, RA IV (W~) to Dir., IPS (7/28/82)


You have requested our opinion as to whether the State of Georgia will look to the laws of Louisiana to establish the entitlement of an illegitimate child.

The child, Kimberly M. W~, was born June 3, 1969, in Louisiana. At the time of the child's birth, the wage earner was domiciled in Louisiana. The child's parents were free to marry when the child was conceived and born and they never inter- married. The child's mother and the wage earner's father and sister submitted statements certifying that Kenneth B~ was the natural father of Kimberly and that he always orally acknowledged that fact. There was no written acknowledgment of paternity. The wage earner died on October 27, 1980, while domiciled in Georgia.

Under Louisiana law, an illegitimate child, such as Kimberly, who has been informally acknowledged, is deemed to have inheritance rights and thus can be entitled to Social Security survivor's benefits. Under Georgia law, an illegitimate child cannot inherit from her father unless, essentially, there is a court order declaring the child to be legitimate or there is a court order establishing the father of the illegitimate child. Ga. Code Ann. § 113-904. Clearly, Kimberly does not have the status of a "child" relative to the taking of the deceased number holder's intestate personal property under Georgia law. The