21 August 2021, Windhoek- – Single mothers who are delaying the process of registering their children’s birth and obtaining the relevant certificates in the absence of the fathers’ information has triggered an appeal from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security for mothers to rather use their own surnames.
Home Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Sakeus Kadhikwa pleaded to single mothers to obtain their children’s full birth certificates in the absence of their fathers or in the case where the father refuses to give the child his last name. He added that should the father later in the child’s life change his mind and agrees to have his details on the full birth certificate, he may apply and pay a fee to start the application process. However, this will involve a thorough vetting process to confirm the authenticity of paternity claims with supporting documents.
When asked if the process of having one parent’s name on the full birth certificate would affect mothers travelling out of the country with the minor alone, Kadhikwa said single mothers will not be penalised for absentee fathers’ decisions.
“A mother will not need the consent of the father to travel with the child if his details are not on the full birth certificate. Her consent will be enough,” he explained.
The Home Affairs Ministry has enhanced public engagements on the importance of birth and death registrations to ensure that every person in the country is documented. According to Kadhikwa, the Ministry has registered a total of 19035 full birth certificates and 6 840 death certificates in the four northern regions.
John K Disho