In Summary
  • As I often say, none of you has superior rights nor inferior duties.
  • You and your wife have ensured that he is identifiable by name, goes to school and enjoys shelter, clothing and protection from abuse and neglect.
  • You mention that you realised your son was given a different name from the one you favoured after the birth certificate was issued.
  • Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to lifeandstyle@ke.nationmedia.com  

Dear Sir, 

I enjoy reading the legal advice you give in your articles. I have a son I named in absentia through the phone but it turned out that my wife's family convinced her to change the first name to match that of her father.

Unfortunately, I was still in college and did not follow up on the names in the notification card. By the time I realised this, the birth certificate already bore that name.

I don't like somebody else naming my child for their selfish reasons and so my son has enrolled in school with the name I chose while the official documents read otherwise.

Sorry for the long email. My question now is, is it possible to strike out a name from the birth certificate and replace it with another? If possible, how does one go about it? 

 

 

Dear Sir,

I am encouraged when you read the articles which are responses to questions such as yours. You should know that you are also appreciated in equal measure.

The framing of your question suggests an existing marriage despite the issue regarding the preferred name to your son.

You also point out that your son is using your preferred name in school, which is different from the registered one on the birth certificate.

Your situation raises four important issues: They are: The right of the child to have a name; the right of both parents to take parental responsibility towards the child, including naming; the voice of the child in the event their name is being changed, and the processes or procedure to undertake such an assignment.

The Children’s Act, pursuant to the Constitution in Article 53 (1-A), gives any child a right to have a name and nationality at birth. Therefore, your son’s current names are valid in law.

Further, both of you have equal responsibility to parent this boy. As I often say, none of you has superior rights nor inferior duties.

You and your wife have ensured that he is identifiable by name, goes to school and enjoys shelter, clothing and protection from abuse and neglect.

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