Dear readers, this article our professional lawyers in Turkey answer the questions related to the peculiarities of paternity and filiation in Turkey. Does the mother of a child born out of wedlock from a citizen of the Turkish Republic have legal rights?
Who and when can open a lawsuit to establish paternity?
The process of establishing paternity in Turkey (Babalık davası) can be opened by the mother of a child born out of wedlock. The mother has the right to file a lawsuit against the baby's father (the citizen of Turkey) before the birth of the child or within one year from the date of birth.
The child born out of wedlock from the citizen of Turkey also has the right to establish filiation in the court within one year from the date of maturity (18 years).
Are there exceptional cases?
Yes, if the father of a child born out of wedlock has made dishonest actions and resorted to deception in order to prevent the child's mother from applying to the court during one year since the child's date of birth.
For example, if the mother of the child is able to prove that during pregnancy and the first year after the child's birth, the father was giving false promises (to marry, to help the child financially and so on) in order to prevent a woman from starting a law case, she can file to the court after one year after the date of child's birth.
Is it possible to open the case on establishing paternity if the child's father died?
The court case must be opened against the father of the child, but if the father is dead, it is possible to start a lawsuit against the existing inheritance.
Does a child born out of wedlock have a right to become a heir of his father's assets?
Yes, he has, however, the presence of consanguinity is not sufficient to ensure that the child has the rights of inheritance in Turkey. To do this, it is imperative to obtain a court decision on establishing paternity.
In case the results of DNA testing conducted in the course of judicial proceedings turn out to be negative, the child has no rights of a heir.
Who owns the custody of a child born out of wedlock?
Custody of the child in Turkey in this situation belongs to the mother. During the trial on establishing paternity, it is also possible claim child support from the father. To obtain the alimony, there is no need to start another lawsuit. Paternity and filiation issues are governed by the Family Court of Turkish Republic (Aile Mahkemesi).
The cost of the DNA expertise and other necessary expenses can be paid by one of the parents or both of them according to the court's decision. If the amount of money required to continue the trial was not paid in the period of time determined by the judge, the costs can be paid from the public purse. Afterwards all the expenses will be recovered from the guilty side.
Whose surname should a child born out of wedlock take?
According to article 321 of the Civil Code Act №4721 of Turkey, if the father and mother of a child are married, the child bears the name of the family.
If the parents of the child are not officially married in Turkey, the child takes mother's surname.
Where and how is the DNA expertise carried out?
Nowadays, DNA analysis performed in the laboratory reveals the probability of paternity of 99.99%. In order to obtain reliable results, taking only the blood samples is not enough, it is necessary to collect such materials as hair, saliva, tissue samples (ex. nails).
If during the trial on establishing paternity, the judge requires the results of DNA expertise, the analysis must be performed only in official institutions, laboratories and forensic institutions, the Department of Medical Biochemistry. The results obtained from the common laboratory is not considered by the court.