Man sues to have name on child’s birth certificate

A welcome signage at the Department of Civil Registration in 2019

A welcome signage at the Department of Civil Registration in 2019. A man wants to have his daughter issued with a new birth certificate with her full name, including his name. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A man has gone to court seeking to have his name included on the birth certificate of a child he sired with a woman in an extramarital relationship.

He also wants an order granted to have his daughter issued with a birth certificate with her full name, to include his, replacing the ‘xxxx’ entry in the birth certificate in place of the name of the father.

Identified in court documents as VKM so as to protect the child, the man says that having ‘xxxx’ in place of his name on the certificate of birth issued to the child completely obliterates an integral whole paternity identity of the minor, which connotes that she was sired by an ‘inhumane, unidentifiable out-of-the-world creature’.

VKM has sued the child’s mother identified as RTP, the school the child attends, the Principal Registrar of Births and Deaths, the Education Cabinet Secretary and the National Health Insurance Fund board.

“The minor cannot be said to enjoy the right to human dignity without knowing who the minor’s biological father is as well as having a complete name,” argues VKM.

He further argues that denying the minor her identity will form an irreversible generational psychological harm that will be passed down to the minor’s descendants.

VKM also says that separating him from his daughter deprives her of genetic medical history and information, including on chances of suffering from terminal illness attributable to hereditary diseases that may be within his family lineage, thus doctors may be unable to conclusively ascertain the minor’s future health conditions.

“Due to the minor’s purported fatherlessness, the petitioner has very limited private health packages, thus making the minor miss out on schemes that cost less premiums for higher covers and at better medical facilities,” argues VKM.

The petitioner also argues that due to the birth certificate, he has been unable to secure any saving schemes for the minor’s benefit and that the child will be deprived of inheritance rights over his future estate due to the purported fatherlessness.

According to VKM, RTP has not only obliterated the minor’s paternal identity, name and ancestry in the birth certificate but has also been denying the child access to him.

“I am just the minor’s father trying to provide for my daughter and it is disheartening that I have to invoke this court’s jurisdiction to be allowed to perform this sacred role,” says VKM in his suit documents.

The petitioner accuses RTP of acting against the interest of the child by denying her access to him with the aim of injuring the minor’s natural affection for him as her biological father.

He says that RTP acted against the child’s interest by wilfully providing false and inaccurate information, which led to the issuance of a birth certificate without his name and exposing the minor to ridicule and taunts due to the purported fatherlessness.

“In a patriarchal society like Kenya, the minor derives the surname from the petitioner whose name has been wilfully omitted from the impugned certificate of birth without lawful cause or intelligible criteria,” argues VKM.

The petitioner also says that the Registrar of Births and Deaths has no mechanisms or grievance procedure available to the minor or accessible to him for rectification of the false and inaccurate information contained in the certificate of birth.

He says that the Education CS collects pupils’ data banks from learning institutions that are stored permanently in the National Education Management Information Systems (Nemis) but does not have grievance procedure available to the minor and accessible to him to further the child’s interest and cushion the child from the school’s connivance with RTP.

The petitioner is also accusing the NHIF board of denying the minor joinder to his fully paid up NHIF account notwithstanding the child’s eligibility and right to it, allegedly on the strength of the birth certificate.


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