RGD wants changes to bedside registration policy for mothers
Chief Executive Officer of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Deirdre English Gosse wants it to become mandatory for mothers to show proof of identification during bedside registration before their names are added to their child’s birth record.
Addressing the inaugural Caribbean Civil Registration and Identity Management Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James, English Gosse said the current practice has serious implications for a child’s future and needs to be reversed.
She said the RGD will continue to be proactive in pushing for legislation, especially since there could be legal and also criminal ramifications involving fathers who get underage girls pregnant.
"When a child is being registered during bedside registration in the hospital, the mother is only required to tell the registration officer her name, with no need for an official verification," English Gosse said.
"In some instances, especially for teenage mothers who are reluctant to reveal the name of the child’s father, the Registration Officer is oftentimes given an alias name, and in some cases, someone else’s name," she added.
The CEO pointed out that this practice presents an issue for the child later in life, especially in instances of migration or the claiming of an estate.
She noted that there have been numerous cases of mothers having to do maternity tests to prove their connection to the child or to file an application to the RGD for an amendment to the child’s birth certificate to correct whatever misleading or incorrect information was given during the registration process.
"This has to be done through a Correction of Error process,” English Gosse said.