Reasons of remarriage can be many, but often the motive behind remarriage is to either:
- have a better marital life,
- settle down with happiness, or
- sometimes to give missing parental support to your child
This parental support is withdrawn either due to unavoidable circumstances like death, terminal illness, venereal diseases, etc. Well sometimes, it's sad situations of divorce and abandonment that are responsible.
There is nothing wrong with it.
Why wouldn't you want to have a happy life?
Why wouldn't you want to give your child a liberated childhood, free from stress and repercussions?
I understand, how much it means to a person to start his/her life in a new way. It takes a whole lot of effort to take the decision of allowing a new person to enter life.
I know how hard can it be to sustain happiness especially when a child finally finds it in difficult situations as described above. In this time, you may often think that your second partner is more of a father or mother to your child.
Well, no doubt to that.
How morally that may make sense, however, Indian Law doesn't quite feel so. What I'm trying to say is that if you think of changing the name of your child's biological parent to the foster parent, Indian Law doesn't deem that right.
How and Why?
Well, we at MyAdvo have found some case references for you to look into and expand your legal knowledge horizons about this sensitive yet significant topic.
Recently in a news by TOI, in Ahmedabad, a local court refused to replace the name of a child’s biological father with that of the adoptive father on a birth certificate.
The court said that it is the “legal right of a child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law”.
Here the woman after divorce from her first husband had remarried and was looking to change the name of the biological parent, i.e. the father of the child.
A sessions court then said, “It is not legal and valid to replace the name of the biological father or mother with that of adoptive parents…”
The court quoted the Madras high court, which observed, “Assuming, (God forbids) that there is yet another marriage, as it happens without much ado in western societies, is it possible to change the name of the parents every time there is a divorce followed by a fresh marriage.”
Another two cases reference that the court cited
- Residents of Ranip, Jagdish Patel and his wife Vaibhavi wanted to remove the name of the biological father, Kamleshkumar Jain, from the birth certificate of their daughter Priyanshi. Since Vaibhavi had married Jagdish after divorcing Kamleshkumar Jain, then Jagdish Patel had formally adopted the girl as his daughter. Therefore, they approached the court for the declaration and to replace the biological father’s name with his. Along with this, Vaibhavi also wanted to correct her name, which was written as Vaishali, in the column for the mother’s name. The court flatly refused to order the change in names.
- Bopal residents Bhanuprasad Chaudhary and his wife Shilpa wanted to remove Shilpa’s first husband Ghanshyam Patel’s name from the birth certificate of their daughter Manali and replace it with Bhanuprasad’s. Shilpa married after her first husband had died. The court ruled that this was not possible.
Referring to orders passed by the Madras HC and the Punjab & Haryana HC, additional sessions judge T K Rana observed, “It is a legal right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law. The fundamental premises on which the Hindu law of adoption proceeds is that the relationship between the biological parents and the children can never get severed, except in accordance with the provision of this Act. Hence, it is not legal and valid to replace the name of the biological father or mother with that of the adoptive parents as stated in the adoption deed.”
Inserting the name of the adoptive parents is easy and valid in cases of adoption of children who are abandoned by their biological parents. But in cases of divorce, insertion of the stepfather’s name on the birth certificate poses a lot of difficulties.
To point out another case reference
- A civil court in Mansa town of Mehsana district had ordered the sub-registrar to replace the biological father’s name with the adoptive father’s on a child’s birth certificate. Chirag Patel had sought a correction in the birth certificate of his adopted daughter Misika, under provisions of Specific Relief Act. The child’s mother divorced her first husband, Tarunkumar Patel, and married Chetan, who adopted the child. The sub-registrar rejected Chetan’s application for a correction on the birth certificate by removing Tarunkumar’s name and adding his.
- A Mansa court rejected an application seeking to replace the biological father’s name with that of the mother. After Rajesh and Ramila Chaudhary divorced, the woman got custody of their minor daughter Rinal. As Ramila lives abroad, she filed an application in court through her brother, requesting the court to order the sub-registrar to make the correction in her daughter’s birth certificate. The court rejected her plea.
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