Dáil Éireann - Volume 584 - 27 April, 2004

Written Answers. - Registration of Births.

  504. Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason persons (details supplied) in County Mayo cannot alter an entry on the birth certificate of their child which they filled out without instruction from the register of births and marriages; and the way in which this problem can be sorted for these persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11263/04]

  Mr. Martin: The parents have primary responsibility for the registration of the birth of their child. The particulars required to be entered in the register of births include the forenames and surnames of the parents and the forename(s) and surname assigned to the child. The Registration of Births Act 1996 provided for a surname to be assigned to the child at the time of registration.

I am informed by An tArd Chláraitheoir, the Registrar General of births, stillbirths, deaths and marriages, that the birth of the child referred to by the Deputy was registered at the joint request and under the joint signatures of both parents. The surname, assigned to the child, which was a combination of the surnames of both parents, was entered in the register. In these circumstances there is no provision to change the surname of the child entered in the register. This has been explained to the mother of the child in question.

However the parents were afforded an opportunity to standardise the format of the surname, without any substantive change, by the deletion of a comma between the two elements of the surname, with an option to substitute a hyphen, by way of an amendment under the provisions of section 27 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Ireland) 1880. This facility has not been availed of to date.