Father’s name in birth certificate only optional; Madras HC

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In a big relief to single mothers and those going in for intrauterine insemination, the Madras High Court has ruled that mentioning father’s name in birth certificate was only optional and there was no legal obligation on the part of a mother to disclose the name of the father at the time of registering her child’s birth.

It was sufficient for her to file a sworn affidavit that the child was born from her womb, said the court.

The court noted that neither the Births and Deaths Act of 1969 nor the Tamil Nadu Registration of Births and Deaths Rules of 2000, requires the father’s name to be recorded in the birth register.

The ruling came after a woman, who gave birth to a baby girl in Tiruchi through intrauterine insemination, filed a petition in the Madurai bench of Madras High Court against Tiruchi Municipal Corporation (TMC).

In the petition, she had stated that a girl was born to her through intrauterine insemination and that TMC had issued a birth certificate with the name of the sperm donor as the father. She said she had requested TMC to issue a certificate without the father’s name, which was refused by TMC citing that the law did not provide for removing the father’s name from the birth certificate.

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