In a move that might turn revolutionary, Local Self Government Department, Govt. of Kerala, has issued an order that has directed all civic bodies to correct the father’s name in birth certificates based on the DNA tests.
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The order was issued looking at the fact that there are soaring number of pending applications in various civic bodies pertaining to change in the father’s name.
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Furthermore, no application for any change in the father’s name is entertained since it cannot be proved and only the birth registrar can make such cancellations and corrections in a birth certificate if he/she is convinced about the truth.
The issue of DNA test came to light, when in December 2014, the birth registrar of Malappuram municipality P K Ganeshan forwarded a letter to the concerned authorities, asking if the DNA test could be used as basis for changing the father’s name in a birth certificate.
The problem in the above case was that the woman was married to a person other than the biological father of the kids and had applied for the birth certificate with the present husband’s name as the child’s father.
In the above case the local bodies thus would not change the name of the father as the woman failed to prove the child’s paternity with regards to the father.
The certificate in the above case can only be given by the court as the birth registrar office only issues birth certificate based on testified hospital documents.
Explaining the situation K P Sabukuttan Nair, deputy chief registrar, panchayat department said:
“Often it led to much con fusion and children had to bear the brunt since certificates would show the father’s name as ‘unknown’. With this order, we can direct for a DNA test and parentage can be ascertained.”
The order has gone into effect from January 1 and the birth registrar can now change the name of the father based on: DNA test, including biological information from a government-approved laboratory; hospital documents testified by concerned officials; court order and a local inquiry by the registrar.