Asia-Pacific ‘Illegitimate’ Children and Inheritance in Indonesia
Alternative Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 196-198, 2012
4 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 6, 2012
In February 2012 the Indonesian Constitutional Court invalidated Article 49(1) of Indonesia’s 1974 Marriage Law — an anachronistic provision under which countless women and children had suffered. The provision stipulated that a child born ’outside of a valid marriage’ had a civil legal relationship only with its mother and mother’s family. This meant that the child could only seek support and inheritance from its mother, and only its mother’s name would be listed on its birth certificate. It could not force its biological father to pay maintenance and was not entitled to inherit from him. If the father left or died, the mother and any children often faced significant social stigma and were left to fend for themselves. This was a significant problem in Indonesia, a developing country, where poverty or near-poverty affects many of its 240 million people. This article examines the Constitutional Court’s decision and considers its likely effect.
Keywords: Indonesia, marriage law, law, inheritance, child maintenance
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation