Marrying a French woman without a legal marriage contract and having a child then performing Tawbah and wanting to marry legally

Q: A man married a French woman without a legal marriage contract and she bore him children. Later, he performed Tawbah (repentance to Allah) and wanted to remarry the same woman according to the legal way. Are his children considered illegitimate? Can they stay with him in this case? Can he tell them that they are illegitimate children? Please advise, may Allah reward you.

A: The children that were born before you concluded a legal marriage contract to this woman are considered illegitimate children. There is no harm in telling them such a thing. If you let them stay with you, sustain them and treat them kindly after both of you perform Tawbah, this will be great. You can marry her if you meet the terms, conditions and essential elements of a marriage contract, while avoiding any impediments. The children are not to blame and they did not commit any sin. (Part No. 20; Page No. 395) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.