- ‘Only the mother will decide the child’s surname’
- The Supreme Court said while setting aside the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court
- Mother is the natural parents of the child after the death of the father
Supreme Court: The Supreme Court has made a big deal about the surname of the child. It has reversed the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, saying that after the death of the child’s father, only the mother, being the natural parents of the child, has the right to decide the surname of the child. In fact, the Andhra Pradesh High Court in one of its judgments had directed the woman to include her second husband as a stepfather in the child’s documents. The Supreme Court has termed this direction as cruel and said that the High Court should understand the fact that how this decision will affect the mental health of the child and how this decision will affect his self-esteem in future.
The court, in its order, said that the mother, being the sole natural parent of the child, has every right to decide the surname of the child. The Supreme Court was earlier hearing a case relating to the surname of the child between the mother who remarried after the death of the husband and the parents of the deceased biological father of the child, i.e. the grandparents of the child.
only mother’s right
The Supreme Court said in its judgment that only the mother is the natural parent after the death of the first husband, so only the mother has the right to decide what will be the surname of the child. How can a court legally restrain a mother from doing so? The court said that surname is important for a child as a child derives his/her future identity from it. Change of surname in his name and family name will always remind him that he does not belong to this family which can hinder a natural parent-child relationship.
Grandparents had filed a petition
The matter was taken up by the parents of the deceased father of the child on April 9 in 2008. He had filed a petition under section 10 of the Wards Act, 1980 to become the guardian of a minor child. However, the petition was rejected by the lower court, after which the grandparents moved the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. In this, the High Court had given its decision, which was challenged by the woman in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court, while hearing the matter, quashed the High Court’s decision.
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