On the other day, I received question from a reader about the treatment of a baby born between a reader (non-Japanese married woman ) and her boyfriend.

I married to my Japanese husband but I am pregnant with another Japanese man, may baby can get a Japanese citizen? Of course i know my husband he denies my baby. And the real father he willing to give his name to my baby.  what will happen?

Non-Japanese mother’s situation

  • She has got married with Japanese man
  • She has a Japanese boyfriend at the same time
  • She she got pregnant
  • A baby in her stomach is had between her and her boyfriend
  • Her husband never accept a baby in her stomach is his child

Her question

  • Is it possible for her baby to acquire Japanese nationality?

In principle, baby’s father is non-Japanese woman’s husband

According to Civil Law Act, article 772 “Presumption of Child in Wedlock”,

“A child conceived by a wife during marriage shall be presumed to be a child of her husband”

“A child born after 200 days from the formation of marriage or with in 300 days of the day of the dissolution or rescission of marriage stage resumed to have been conceived during marriage

In short, if a wife gets pregnant during marriage, even if a child is recognized as the one born between a wife and her lover, a child’s father is presumed to be your husband.

What if her husband reject recognizing her baby as his child?

If a wife wants to insist that a child’s father is not a husband or a husband insists a baby is not his child, a wife shall bring a suit for an “Action to rebut presumption of legitimacy(嫡出否認の訴え)” to a family court  and the relation between a child and a husband needs to be denied.

By the way, a child born within 200 days from the marriage cannot be applied to “presumption of child in wedlock”. So if a wife wants to deny the relation between a child and a husband or a husband want to deny the relation , a wife brings a suite for “non-existance of the parenthood confirmation (親子不存在確認の訴え)” to a family court.

If a family court accepts this case, her baby is legally removed out of the position of a legitimate child and column of father’s name on baby’s birth registration will be blank.

How can a baby get Japanese nationality

To get baby’s Japanese nationality, a baby needs to have a Japanese father. In the situation where her husband reject recognizing her baby as his child, there is only one choice left which is that her boyfriend(lover) needs to recognize her baby as his child.

The point is that if her husband deny her baby as his child and , she and her husband file this case to a family court that her husband is not her baby’s father, and family court accept this case,  her boyfriend will be able to go through procedure of “baby recognition” at a municipal office.

In short, to make her boyfriend becomes her baby’s father legally, her husband needs to give up becoming a father of your baby through procedure of a family court.

If your baby is recognized as a child of her boyfriend by a municipal office, her baby’s nationality is Japanese.

What if a boyfriend reject recognizing her baby as his child?

According to Civil Code, article 787

A child, his/her lineal descendant, or the legal representative of either, may bring an action for affiliation; provided that this shall not apply if three years have passed since the day of the death of the parent.

This regulation is about compulsory recognition.

Because a baby is her boyfriend’s natural child, if her baby is removed out of her husband’s legitimate child, her boyfriend must recognize her baby as his child because Japanese administration of justice takes its stance that rejecting the paternity claim against a natural child is not allowable.

So if a boyfriend reject recognizing her baby as his child, she can bring a suit on a boyfriend for the paternity claim in the name of compulsory recognition to a family court.


If you got pregnant with a Japanese boyfriend although you are married now and husband stubbornly doesn’t accept your baby as his child.

To get Japanese citizenship for your baby, you need to persuade your boyfriend to become a father of your baby as baby recognition.

If your boyfriend doesn’t accept it, you should raise this case to a family court. The probability you can win the case is very high because rejecting the paternity claim by a mother who gave birth to a baby is not allowable and totally against Civil code.

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