Lat Child; offspring; the child just before it is born, or immediately after its birth. Partus ex legitimo thoro non certius noscit matrem quam genitorem suum. Fortes. 42. The offspring of a legitimate bed knows not his mother more certainly than his father. Partus sequitur ventrem. The offspring follows the mother; the brood of an animal belongs to the owner of the dam; the offspring of a slave belongs to the owner of the mother, or follow the condition of the mother. A maxim of the civil law, which has been adopted in the law of England in regard to animals, though never allowed in the case of human beings. 2 Bl. Comm. 390, 94; Fortes. 42.