Right to Belong

The Court has ruled the inclusion of father’s names on birth records of children.

Lady Justine Mumbi Ngugi has stated that children born out of wedlock can now have the names of their father included in birth records.

In her ruling on Thursday, she declared Section 12 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act unconstitutional.

She said that every child has a right to have the name of their father on the birth certificate and that the consent of the father is not required as has been the case.Initially,mothers had been prohibited by the law not to enter the father’s name without their consent.

Even though the judge agreed that the Attorney-General had defended the law saying that it was aimed at protecting men from “unscrupulous women”, she said there is need for change of that law so as to protect every child’s rights regardless of parents’ marital status.

She said the burden of children born out of wedlock has for a long-time been placed on women. Justice Ngugi ordered the Registrar of Births and Deaths to see to it that the entry of names is done in the next 45 days.

She ruled that indeed such children face unnecessary discrimination based on their parents’ marital status.

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