‘Delphine effect’: more natural children take to the courts
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‘Delphine effect’: more natural children take to the courts

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Delphine Boël’s successful battle for recognition as King Albert II’s daughter has inspired other children born out of wedlock, according to family law specialists consulted by Het Nieuwsblad daily.

Hundreds of biological children have since filed suit to obtain paternal recognition, the specialists say.

“Before now, the advice given to those children was relatively easy: don’t file lawsuits, you do not have a chance,” said attorney Frederik Swennen, an Antwerp University law professor. “Today we have to tell them: try all the same, anything is possible.”

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Delphine Boël’s years-long legal battle – which went as far as the Court of Cassation and a court-ordered DNA test – ended in her officially being recognised as a princess of Belgium, seems to have paved the way for many other persons in similar situations, the experts say.

The number of lawsuits filed against reputed fathers is enormous, said attorney Elfri De Neve, who described this as a historic change. “A whole new jurisprudence is developing around these issues,” De Neve said.

The Brussels Times