The meaning of this, a child whose parents are not married, came about long ago when a child could have no legal father other than the husband of its mother. Today, a man has a legal claim to and responsibility for his offspring regardless of whether he is married to the woman he impregnated or not. All children have two genetic parents, and could be proven to be the offspring of a particular male through genetic testing. Therefore all children are legitimate; they are legally the product of two parents.

If human cloning becomes a practice, will this term see a rise and a new meaning? A clone could arguably be an illegitimate child in both senses of the word: not legitimately a child, or not naturally the legal offspring of two parents.

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