Mother's name can always be added to the child either along with biological father's name or mother's name alone.
Children can use either their mother's or father's name," a Government Resolution issued by the Women and Child Welfare Department said. This is in accordance with the third women's policy, 2014, cleared by the state cabinet in March.
If any woman faces problems in exercising the choice, she can complain to the concerned district collector. In case of children, they can now mention names of both the parents, or either of them, in the documents, the Resolution said.
When a single woman or unwed mother applies for her child's birth certificate, it must be issued on the basis of her affidavit and without insisting that she disclose the name of the father, the Supreme Court ruled.
"In today's society, where women are increasingly choosing to raise their children alone, we see no purpose in imposing an unwilling and unconcerned father on an otherwise viable family nucleus. It seems to us that a man who has chosen to forsake his duties and responsibilities is not a necessary constituent for the well-being of the child," the bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and A.M. Sapre said.
The Supreme Court ruled : "The law is dynamic and is expected to diligently keep pace with time and the legal conundrums and enigmas it presents.... We direct that if a single parent/unwed mother applies for the issuance of a birth certificate for a child born from her womb, the authorities concerned may only require her to furnish an affidavit to this effect, and must thereupon issue the birth certificate, unless there is a court direction to the contrary."
The court explained why the ruling would go beyond an individual case.