The Madras high court passed the order against a petition filed by Ms. Mathumitha Ramesh, a mother of a year old child that was conceived through intrauterine fertility treatment. She was a divorcee and conceived using the semen of a donor through artificial insemination process. At the time of issuing the birth certificate the authorities compelled the mother to name the father in the child’s birth certificate.
She even made an application to rectify the birth certificate but that was also rejected by the Chief Health officer of Trichy Municipal Corporation. He was of the opinion that the law of rectification allows only change in the name of the father and not removal of his name altogether.
The advocate fighting her case brought forth the Section 15 act of registration of births and deaths of 1969 and Rule 11 from registration of births and death of 2000, Tamilnadu. This act empowers the birth and death registrar to allow error correction in birth certificates.
The court examined the case and noted that the birth certificate registration form did have space or column for entering the fathers name but nowhere was mentioned, by any act or rules that it was mandatory to do so. The court further conveyed that as the child bearing was done through intrauterine fertility treatment, the donor confidentiality needs to be protected. It ruled that disclosure of the fathers name for child birth registration authorities cannot make it mandatory for mother to disclose the fathers name for registration after child birth. An affidavit stating that the child was born from her womb would be enough a proof.
The authorities ruled the argument in favor or Ms Ramesh and that she need not mention the name of the child.
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