They don't wish to name the baby's father while seeking birth certificate

Call it a new age freedom or women's advocacy, there is an increasing tendency to seek birth certificates where just the mother's name is mentioned.

Sure, it is accepted by the law but there were very few who did not wish to name the father in the records earlier. Whatever may be the relationship, both parents name were generally named. Of late, though, registrars of the birth and death records say that they have been issuing birth certificates listing the mother's name only.

“Earlier, even in the case of unwed mothers, the tendency has always been to name the father. The mother's word is accepted without any question. It seems to be changing now as mothers are insisting on just their name in the registration record and birth certificate,” they explain.

While it seems like an open and shut case, it is not so in case of child conceived through In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or even surrogate motherhoods which have caught on in recent times. In the case of IVF, since the donor's name is never given, the child's birth certificate has just the mother's name and forever, the record is ‘closed' after a mention is made.

It means the child ‘cannot' have a father on the birth certificate even if his mother remarries and her husband wants to adopt the child.

Surrogate motherhood

For surrogate motherhood it is slightly different, a prominent maternity hospital in the capital sought the officials' assistance in deciding on who should be registered as the mother and mentioned in the birth certificate.

“Should it be the surrogate mother carrying the child or the biological mother?”

ICMR guidelines

Luckily, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has come out detailed guidelines on determining the status of children born through such means and through IVF. The same have been adopted by the Registrar of Births & Deaths.

The ICMR has stated that the genetic or biological parents' names should only be mentioned in the birth certificate. And in the birth registration, the hospital concerned should clearly indicate that the child was conceived through surrogate motherhood and pass on the information to the registrar concerned.

The hospital should also provide a certificate to the genetic parents giving the name and address of the surrogate mother.

  • Officials say they have been issuing certificates listing only the mother's name
  • In the case of IVF, the child's birth certificate has just the mother's name