Can’t replace biological father’s name in birth certificate without court order: Bombay HC

Beena married Rajesh in 1998 and the two had a daughter in 2001. They got divorced in 2003, with the permanent custody of the child given to the mother.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:February 17, 2017 2:26 am

The Bombay High Court Thursday said the consequences of replacing the name of the biological father with that of the adoptive father in birth records based only on a registered adoption deed and without a court order on the validity of the adoption would be “disastrous.” The court was hearing a writ petition filed by a couple, Parag Rughani and Beena Rughani, who were seeking to replace the biological father’s name in the birth records of Beena’s daughter with the name of her second husband Parag, who adopted the child through a registered deed.

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Beena married Rajesh in 1998 and the two had a daughter in 2001. They got divorced in 2003, with the permanent custody of the child given to the mother. Thereafter, Beena married Parag. When Rajesh suffered a paralytic attack, it was agreed that Parag should adopt the child in the interest of her upbringing. The three of them executed a formal deed of adoption.

The petitioners thereafter wanted to replace the name of the biological father with that of the adoptive father in the child’s birth certificate. They approached the ward office of the BMC, Dahisar, to issue a new birth certificate in March 2016. The couple was asked to approach the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation as the daughter was born within their jurisdiction.

On making the application there, the couple was informed through a letter issued in August 2016, that “in order to change any entries in the Registrar of Births, an order from a court is required,” which they challenged in the High Court. They further sought a fresh birth certificate for the child replacing the biological father’s name with that of the adoptive father.

Justice A S Oka, however, held, “The consequence of making entry of name of the adoptive father in the Registrar of Births without such a finding by the court about the validity of the adoption can be disastrous. We do not find any error with the view expressed that such a change cannot be made unless the competent authority passes orders about the same.” The court rejected the writ petition.

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