Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Larvy the daddy - Father of nine accepts his responsibilities even without his name on their birth certificates

Published:Sunday | August 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Larvy Wilson (back row, centre) and eight of his nine children and four grandchildren.

Larvy Wilson is a father of nine, but like scores of other Jamaican men, his name was not placed on the birth certificates of most of his children.

According to Wilson, his first child was born in 1979, and at that time a father adding his name to the 'birth paper' of a child wasn't widely known and wasn't seen as something important.

"Them days deh, most fathers like me and my friend dem, who grow and people who me know, never did a put man name on the birth certificate. People get more educated now and dem start tell you on the radio and TV that you need to put the name on it. But dem time deh me just know say the child a mine and him have mi surname," said the 62-year-old Wilson.

He noted that of his nine children only his last son, who is 14 years old, has is name on his birth certificate.

 

Should be on certificate

 

Wilson said even though he knows that the name is not needed on the paper for a father to play an active role in the life of his children, he now believes that every child should have their father's name on their birth certificate.

"If me did know bout it them time deh, me would ensure me do it. You see same like how the mother name is on it, the father name should be on it as a proof to say, yes, that's his child, it make you look like a real father," said Wilson.

He said he doesn't see the need for him to go through the hassle of adding his name to his children birth certificates now as they are mostly adults, but if they asked, he would not object.

Wilson added that he is happy that his name not being on the birth certificates did not really affect the lives of his children.

"My children always see me. Them know say me deh bout. I'm always a message or a call away," said Wilson, whose children are among the 1.6 million which the Registrar General's Department said did not have their fathers' names added to their birth certificates between 1955 and 2017.

The Registrar General's Department has reported that:

- Between 1955 and 1988, 46 to 48 per cent of records could be classified as incomplete as they did not have the fathers' names on them.

- Between 1989 and 2006, 35-48 per cent of birth records did not have the fathers' names on them.

- Between 2007 and 2016, 22-29 per cent of records did not have the fathers' names.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com