You inquire as to whether the above-captioned daughter is the "child" of the wage-earner
within the meaning of title II of the Social Security Act.
It appears that the daughter was born on December 3, 1977 in Cape Verde Islands to
the wage-earner (a married man) and a single female. Her birth certificate, recorded
on January 3, 1978 contains the following: "daughter of [wage earner], married, age
59 and Maria dos A single, age 25." In the birth register, the wage-earner appears
as her father, who was the declarant and who signed the register. The wage-earner,
domiciled in Cape Verde Islands, has filed for benefits on behalf of the daughter.
Under section 216(b)(2)(A) of the Act, the daughter's status is determined by applying
the intestacy law of the wage-earner's domicile, Cape Verde Islands.
The Law Librarian of the Library of Congress has submitted the attached report on
the status of a child born out of wedlock under the laws of Cape Verde. As you indicate,
Cape Verde was governed under Portuguese law in its colonial years and for a short
period after its independence.
However, in 1976 Decree-Law 84/76 1/ repealed the sections of the only Civil Code
which distinguished between legitimate and illegitimate children. Article 2 of the
Act provides that
Page 2 - Division of International Operations
"All children are equal according to the law, enjoy the same rights, and are subject
to the same duties with regard to their parents, regardless of the [parent's] marital
Under Decree-Law 84/76, insofar as pertinent herein, paternal filiation is assumed
where the father has expressly recognized in writing 2/ or where the child is treated
and recognized as the son or daughter in the community. 3/ It appears that, in general,
the distinction between legitimate and recognized illegitimate children no longer
has legal validity in Cape Verde under Decree-Law 84/76.
Under the facts of this case, therefore, we conclude that the daughter herein is the
child of the wage-earner under applicable laws of Cape Verde Islands and therefore
is a "child" within the meaning of title II of the Social Security Act.
1/ Boletin Oficial No. 39, Sept. 25, 1976 (Cape Verde).
2/ Id. Art. 5. 3/ Id. Arts. 7 and 8.