MCD, NDMC to explain measures adopted in issuing birth certificates

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New Delhi, Dec 10 (UNI) Delhi High Court has issued notices to Muncipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to reply within four weeks, the procedures being adopted by them while issuing birth certificates of children born to single mothers.

Justice Geeta Mittal asked the authorities concerned to explain in detail the methods being adopted by them in issuing such birth certificates as the matter needs to be examined in depth and a policy decision for future cases needs to be adopted.

Hearing a writ petition of a lady who chose to have a baby by in-vitro fertilization (test tube baby), Ms Mittal said the issue raises important questions regarding the constitutional and reproductive rights of a woman who has made a choice to conceive by this method with a sperm from the sperm bank where the father's identity is not known.

The case refers to a writ petition filed by a lady who gave birth to a baby boy on November 13, 2001 by the IVF methodology (test tube baby), in capital's 'Sir Ganga Ram hospital'.

In such cases, the identity of the sperm donor is not disclosed.

She requested MCD to issue the birth cerificate to her son. However, by mistake the hospital authorities recorded the name of the lady's father as father of the child.

Therefore, the MCD issued a wrong birth certificate with the grand father's (maternal) name as the father's name.

The MCD not only refused to rectify the records but also asked the lady to bring a character certificate signed by two eminent persons of her locality.

The petitioner contends that as the child was a test-tube baby and thus has no natural father, the records should be rectified. The child will be admitted to school now hence, the rectification of records is imperative.

The court said such situations certainly cannot be countenanced which impacts the valuable rights of a petitioner to make a choice with regard to her life as well as that of the child.

Later on the hospital records were rectified and an application was sent by the lady to MCD to change the birth cerificate of her ward.

The court also impleaded NDMC as a party because like MCD, it also maintains the records of births and deaths. The court has directed both the authorities to place all facts and procedures being adopted by them in issuing birth certificates of such cases before the MCD commissioner to issue orders to draft an appropriate policy in this regard.

The matter will be heard on January 28, 2008.

UNI

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