•  
  •  
 

Hofstra Law Review

Article Title

Stanley v. Illinois

Authors

Abstract

Illegitimacy has been a basis for discriminatory treatment throughout legal history. The common law termed the illegitimate filius nullius, or the child of nobody. This curious legal fiction (and biological impossibility) originally related to inheritance rights, but was later expanded so as to disavow any cognizable legal relationship between the male parent and his bastard child. While the natural mother, if she is a suitable person, has generally been regarded as the proper guardian of her illegitimate child, the unwed father has not enjoyed a position equal to that of the mother. The so-called "putative" father has been denied equal custodial rights and has often been forced to proceed under a legal presumption of his unfitness as a parent. In Stanley v. Illinois, the United States Supreme Court, in one of its rare incursions into the nether regions of family law, declared this discriminatory treatment of the unwed father to be an unconstitutional denial of due process and equal protection under the law.

Included in

Law Commons

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.