• Larry Zhou

Foreign parents of children born out of wedlock shall bear legal responsibility

British David and Chinese Xiao Hong fell in love and gave birth to a child while studying in the United States, but the couple have never been married. After graduation, Xiao Hong took the child back to China. David never saw the child again.Xiao Hong raises her children alone in China. Does David need to pay for the support (alimony)?

The above names are pseudonyms


For parents, the birth of a child is sometimes a surprise, sometimes an accident.


But the birth of every child is a gift from God and deserves to be treated fairly, for children born out of wedlock is also the same.



According to Chinese law, children born out of wedlock have the same rights as children born in marriage and should be respected by all without discrimination.


It is the duty of every parent to raise the child as an adult, as is it for foreign parents.


In order to provide the child with the living security, the Chinese law vest the legal power in children who are minors or who are incapable of living on their own. If their parents fail to perform their duty, they shall have the right to demand the cost of upbringing from their parents.


The parents of a child born out of wedlock shall also perform the obligation to raise the child born out of wedlock. If he does not raise the child directly, he shall pay the alimony.


In practice, the court usually adjudicates that the foreign parents should pay the alimony until the child born out of wedlock reaches the age of 18. If the foreign father refuses to perform the obligation of paying the alimony, the people's court will enforce it according to the application of the executor.


If the person subjected to execution refuses to execute judgments or rulings on alimony, visits to children, etc., the people's court shall enforce them according to law. Relevant individuals and units shall be responsible for assisting in the implementation.


Legal Basis

“Marriage law of the People's Republic of China” (effective from April 28, 2001)

Article 21 Parents have the obligation to support and educate their children; children have the obligation to support and assist their parents. When the parents fail to fulfill their obligation of support, the minor child or the child who is unable to live independently shall have the right to require the parents to pay the alimony.


Article 25 Children born out of wedlock shall enjoy the same rights as children born in wedlock, and no one may harm or discriminate against them. The natural father or mother who does not directly support children born out of wedlock shall bear the child's living and education expenses until the child can live independently.


Article 48 If the person subjected to execution refuses to execute judgments or rulings on alimony, division of property, inheritance of heritage, visits to children, etc., the people's court shall enforce them according to law. Relevant individuals and units shall be responsible for assisting in the implementation.


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Larry Zhou, Partner

Landing Law Offices China

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