1   Short title

   2   Interpretation


Status of Children

   3   All children of equal status

   4   Transitional provisions re wills, and other instruments and interstices

   5   Protection of personal representatives and trustees


Evidence re Parenthood

   6   Presumptions re parenthood of child born during marriage

   7   Recognition of paternity required in cases of succession, etc

   8   Evidence and proof of paternity

   9   Instruments of acknowledgement may be filed with Registrar. General

   10   Power of Court to make declaration of paternity


Blood Tests

   11   Power of Court to require use of blood tests

   12   Consents, etc, required for taking of blood samples

   13   Failure to comply with directions for blood tests

   14   Penalty for personating another re blood tests

   15   Regulations re blood tests



   16   Regulations, general



[Date of Commencement: 1st November, 1976]

<PN:"Highlighter 5">36 of 1969,
6 of 1993,
30 of 2005.


1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Status of Children Act.

2   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act-

   "child" includes a child born out of wedlock;

   "marriage" includes a void marriage;

   "Registrar-General" means the Registrar-General under the Registration (Births and Deaths) Act and includes any person for the time being discharging the duties of that office;

   "trustee" includes guardians, committees of lunatics, as well as all persons who are trustees within the meaning of the Trustee Act.

   (2) For the purposes of sections 11 to 15 inclusive-

   "blood samples" means blood taken for the purpose of blood tests;

   "blood tests" means blood tests carried out and includes any test made with the object of ascertaining the inheritable characteristics of blood;

   "excluded" means excluded subject to the occurrence of mutation.

Status of Children

3   All children of equal status

   (1) Subject to subsection (4) and to the provisions of sections 4 and 7, for all the purposes of the law of Jamaica the relationship between every person and his father and mother shall be determined irrespective of whether the father and mother are or have been married to each other, and all other relationships shall be determined accordingly.

   (2) The rule of construction whereby in any instrument words of relationship signify only legitimate relationship in the absence of a contrary expression of intention is hereby abolished.

   (3) Subject to subsection (4), this section shall apply in respect of every person, whether born before or after the 1st day of November, 1976, and whether born in Jamaica or not, and whether or not his father or mother has ever been domiciled in Jamaica.

   (4) Nothing in this section shall affect or limit in any way any rule of law relating to-

   (a)   the domicile of any person;

   (b)   the provisions of the Children (Adoption of) Act which determine the relationship to any other person of a person who has been adopted;

   (c)   the construction of the word "heir" or of any expression which is used to create an entailed interest in real or personal property.

4   Transitional provisions re wills, and other instruments and interstices

   (1) All dispositions made before the 1st day of November, 1976, shall be governed by the enactments and rules of law which would have applied to them if this Act had not been passed.

   (2) Where any disposition to which subsection (1) applies creates a special power of appointment, nothing in this Act shall extend the class of person in whose favour the appointment may be made, or cause the exercise of the power to be construed so as to include any person who is not a member of that class.

   (3) The estates of all persons who have died intestate as to the whole or any part thereof before the 1st day of November, 1976, shall be distributed in accordance with enactments and rules of law which would have applied to them if this Act had not been passed.

   (4) In this section "disposition" means a disposition, including an oral disposition, of real or personal property whether inter vinos or by will or codicil; and notwithstanding any rule of law, a disposition made by will or codicil executed before the 1st day of November, 1976, shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section 29 of the Wills Act, not be treated for the purposes of this section as made on or after that date by reason only that the will or codicil is confirmed by a codicil executed on or after that date.

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