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LEGAL AID: Will a new birth certificate affect my child in future?

Wednesday December 25 2019

The net effect of deleting the name of your daughter’s father is more psychosocial than legal.  PHOTO| FILE

The net effect of deleting the name of your daughter’s father is more psychosocial than legal. PHOTO| FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

ERIC MUKOYA
By ERIC MUKOYA
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Hello,

I was dating this Luhya man. We got a baby girl . Within one year of the birth of my baby, we parted ways because of the persistent problems we could not solve.

He left with my daughter's birth certificate. He has never contributed anything towards our daughter's upkeep.

During enrollment to school, it was a requirement that we produce a birth certificate.

I had to process the same afresh, this time as a single mother. What may be the effect on my daughter in future?

Thank you in advance.

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Dear Jael,

Jael, you are honest and open. You dated and married a Luhya man for at least one year, a period that brought forth a daughter.

You clearly indicate that your problems were irreconcilable, leading to separation, in turn a loss of your daughter’s first birth certificate.

Nonetheless, you have continued to raise your daughter as a single parent, which to say the least is commendable.

Several things need to be put into perspective:

a) the situation of having two birth certificates for one person, in this case your daughter

b) the likely effect on your daughter with regard to the presence of the two birth certificates, and

c)  the legal impression of Luhya man or any other in a scenario of a replaced birth certificate without their name.

The act of registering your daughter’s birth afresh and subsequent issuance of a new birth certificate rendered the initial registration null and void. In the eyes of the law, the old birth certificate no longer exists.

Registration of birth of a child and subsequent inclusion of both parents’ names affirms parental responsibility, child’s full identity, and most importantly, reduces rigors associated with litigation in the event of succession.

Although inclusion of both parents’ names in the birth certificate may not compel an absent parent to take up parental responsibility, at the very least, the act allows a child to grow up with the knowledge that, he or she has a father and not a series of xxx in the birth certificate.

Lastly, the legal implication for this kind of action where a birth certificate has been replaced without the name of the father is similar, whether the man is Luhya or of any other tribe. 

So, the net effect of deleting the name of your daughter’s father is more psychosocial than legal. As with legal the court may order a paternity test in the event that this becomes necessary on matters parental responsibility on maintenance and or custody.

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