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LEGAL AID: I don’t want my ex-husband’s name in my daughter’s birth certificate

Wednesday March 04 2020
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Now that we have been separated over three years and he is not supporting us in any way, and knowing I have no legal ground to make him do so, I would like to know the steps to follow to remove his name. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MUKOYA

Hello Eric,

Kindly help on the steps I can take to remove my ex-husband’s name from my daughter's birth certificate.

We used his name as the father of my daughter although both of us knew he was not.

Now that we have been separated over three years and he is not supporting us in any way, and knowing I have no legal ground to make him do so, I would like to know the steps to follow to remove his name so that I may seek child support from the child’s biological father. Please advise.

Thanks and kind regards,

Edna

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Well said Edna, and sorry that you had to separate from this man. You have referred to him as an ex-husband and you are clear that he isn’t your daughter’s biological father.

We do understand your predicament which also has effects on the rights and welfare of the daughter between you and these two men who have been in your life.

We empathise with your situation, the more reason we endeavour to give you the information you seek. You have rejected silence and chosen the path we may refer to as the best interest of the child principle, even if this means reviewing the details in your daughter’s birth certificate.

Even though your daughter may be three years, or thereabouts going by the stated separation period from your ex, she remains a minor.

You have inspired us to offer comprehensive information and process on how to change names for your and other readers’ consumption facing similar challenges.

In Kenya, the Birth and Death Registration Act, the Registration of Documents Act and the Registration of Documents (Change of Name) Regulations provide the legal basis on which process, procedure and registration of name or change of name is anchored.

In case two years have not elapsed since the initial registration of your daughter, section 14 of Birth and Death Registration Act opens up a second and last window to alter or change your daughter’s name upon provision of such evidence the registrar may require.

If two years have already elapsed, which is likely from the impression of your text, you will be required to complete a document referred to as a deed poll and register the same with the Registrar of Births and Deaths.

Subsequently, the deed poll will be gazetted, where upon, your daughter will legally take up the use of the new name. Going by your explanation, our assumption is that, your daughter is still a minor. In that case, you will be required to execute the deed poll on her behalf.

Where the minor in question is above the age of 16 year she will be expected to consent to the change of name and provide evidence of the same to the Registrar.

We encourage you to give hope to women and families who live in fear of stigma. Stand up too for the rights of children in similar uncertainties. Thank you for making us create more awareness and build champions of children rights.

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Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to [email protected]

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