Thursday, 18 Jul 2024

Asylum seeker who had child with Direct Provision centre security guard settles High Court action over surname on birth cert

An asylum seeker who became pregnant following a relationship with a security guard at a Direct Provision centre has settled a High Court action over a refusal to register the father’s surname on the child’s birth certificate.

The father’s surname been registered on the birth cert since she brought legal proceedings, the court heard.

The man had refused to consent to the boy being registered using his surname, the court was told earlier this year when the mother got leave to bring the proceedings over the refusal of the State registry authority to put his name on the cert. 

When the matter returned before the High Court, Mr Justice Michael McGrath was told the case had been resolved and could be struck out.

The African woman, who has been in Ireland since 2014, fled her native country in 2010 and gave birth to the child in 2016.

The court previously heard she had been in a relationship with her son’s father, a security guard at the Direct Provision Centre where she still resides.

The relationship ended before the boy was born, and she has a maintenance order naming the man as the father of their child. 

She had been married but divorced from her former husband before arriving in Ireland.

One of the reasons she wanted to register her son with the father’s name was because she did not want the child to have the surname of her ex-husband and it would not reflect the boy’s true origins.

After her son’s birth, she made several unsuccessful attempts in 2016 and 2017 to register the boy using his father’s surname.

She claimed she was informed she could not give the boy the father’s surname without the father attending at the office the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths.

She then obtained the assistance of the Citizen’s Information Services (CIS), which dealt with the office of the Registrar General, An tArd Chlaraitheoir, on her behalf.

If the father was not willing to attend the office she could only give the child the surname she is currently using, she was allegedly informed.

The CIS, in July 2017, asked An tArd Chlaraitheoir for details and legislation which requires a father to attend the registry office, as it was unable to find it.

A representative of An tArd Chlaraitheoir informed the CIS it was unable to cite the relevant legislation, and added there was no discretion to give the boy his father’s surname, she claimed.

In August 2017 the CIS asked An tArd Chlaraitheoir  to give the boy his father’s surname because of the exceptional circumstances that applied in the case, she claimed.

In a reply, which resulted in the bringing of the High Court action, An tArd Chlaraitheoir said there is no provision in the Civil Registration Act to allow the mother register her son’s birth using any other surname than her own one.

In her action on both her and her son’s behalf, they sought an order compelling An tArd Chlaraitheoir to register the boy’s surname in accordance with the 2004 Civil Registration Act.

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