Woman Challenges Refusal To Put Father’s Name on Birth Certificate

The Irish Times is reporting that a woman seeking an order from the High Court to overturn a refusal by the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, to allow her register her child’s surname under the name of his father.

The child’s father is opposed to his name being put on the birth certificate, the court was told on Monday.

The woman came to the State from Africa and sought asylum and had the child with an Irishman, the court heard. However the couple has since broken up.

The mother wanted the father’s surname put on the birth certificate but he will not consent to that, Feichin McDonagh SC for the woman, told the court.

Under the law, she is entitled to apply to have the father’s name on the certificate providing she received a court order which she had, counsel said.

The matter is governed by the Status of Children Act 1987 which provides for maintenance orders where the man did not offer any defence to the allegation of parentage or was not a party to proceedings where parentage was being adjudged.

When the woman got an order under the 1987 Act, she applied to register the child in the father’s surname but was refused on the basis that there was no power to include the Irish father’s name, counsel said.

Under current legislation a court order allows the father to be named on the Birth Certificate were the father’s name, address and occupation are added to the Birth Record and the Birth Certificate but the child does not acquire the father’s surname as he has not consented to this, and the child remains registered under the mother’s surname only.

Mr McDonagh said the Registrar General does have the power and his client wanted a High Court order requiring it to exercise that power.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted the ex parte (one side only represented) application for leave to bring judicial review proceedings against the Registrar General and adjourned the matter to January. He also ordered the father be notified of the proceedings.

Source: The Irish Times