Do annulments render children illegitimate in the Church?
No. When the Church declares a marriage of parents null, many people are often confused about its legal impact upon the legitimacy of the children in church law. The legal term “legitimacy” means that the child’s father is known. He is the “husband” of the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth. Before there was such a thing as DNA testing, this was the only way society could assume who was the father of the child. An annulment does not retroactively affect the child’s paternity. At the time of the child’s birth, the parents were legally presumed to be husband and wife. It is then that the legitimacy of the child was established. Anything stating otherwise is simply wrong!