Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Bedside registration capturing more fathers

Published:Monday | August 27, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
In this January 2012 photo, Beverly Roe (right), registration assistant at the Registrar General’s Department, registers baby Shacquan Shaquaine Hibbert, who is held by his mother Julian Harmonious while his father, Clayton Hibbert, looks on. Shaquan was the first baby to be born at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in 2012.

The Registrar General's Department (RGD) is reporting an increase in the number of fathers registered on their children's birth certificates since bedside registration was introduced in 2007.

According to the RGD, bedside registration has been successful to the extent that hospital registrations are now effected in a much timelier manner, on average, one to two days after birth, as opposed to months or years afterwards.

The RGD also says that the percentage of children named at registration has drastically improved as before bedside registration, on average, approximately 28 per cent of children were named at registration, but since 2007 when bedside registration was implemented, the percentage of babies named at birth has risen to 98 per cent.

The percentage of fathers adding their particulars at birth has also increased, with the average so far this year, including fathers of children born in wedlock, where the name of the father is automatically added, moving from 51 per cent to 72.17 per cent.

But the RGD noted that with bedside registration, mothers and/or fathers sometimes provide erroneous information at the time of registration, such as errors in name spelling and marital status, and later have to return to amend the information.

There have also been instances where the wrong individual is named as the father at registration. In these cases, the parents have to obtain paternity orders to rectify this.

The RGD has advised mothers and fathers to be equipped with their birth certificates and official identification information to facilitate accurate registration for their babies. However, the RGD says that some parents either do not have these documents at registration or forget to take them, compromising the accuracy of the process.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com

Fathers adding their particulars to birth certificates through bedside registration January to June 2018 (inclusive of married parents)

- January - 72.39%

- February - 71.82%

- March - 70.85%

- April - 72.50%

- May - 72.47%

- June - 72.98%

- Average - 72.17%