Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Children born out of wedlock can now get records amended - RGD

Published:Wednesday | April 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Registrar General's Department (RGD) has launched a new service where children who were not born to married parents can now have their records amended, if both their parents later tied the knot, to reflect being born in wedlock.

"The process facilitates the addition of the father's particulars and the mother's marital status being placed on the child's birth record," the RGD said in a statement on Monday.

It said at the end of the process, the birth certificate would reflect that the child was born in wedlock and all certificates issued by the RGD after that will reflect the amended information. The RGD said the process is governed by the Section 52 of the Registration (Birth and Death) Act (1881), which allows for the creation of a new record once certain criteria are met.

 

NO LEGAL IMPEDIMENT

 

Under the law, the re-registration can only be facilitated when "The child is already registered, which is evidenced by the birth certificate of the child; when both mother and father of the child are married to each other, which is evidenced by the marriage certificate of the parents; and when a statutory declaration is made by both parents indicating that there was no legal impediment to their marriage at the time of the birth of the child. Re-registration not only reflects the changes in the status of the parents, but it also facilitates the establishment of paternity through the addition of the father's particulars, the organisation said.

The forms to facilitate these changes can be found on the RGD website (www.rgd.gov.jm), or they can be picked up at any of its offices islandwide. Under Jamaica's 1909 Ligitimation Act, a child born out of wedlock is not deemed 'legitimate' unless that child's parents marry while the child remains a minor. That law remains in place, although in 1976, the Status of Children Act was passed, which eradicated the legal differences which existed between lawful and unlawful children.