Home News Children’s surnames can be decided by the mother: Supreme Court

Children’s surnames can be decided by the mother: Supreme Court


Image Source: Hindustan Times

With its landmark decision, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and proclaimed that a mother can choose to give a child the surname of the second husband after the death of the biological father.

Image Source: My Pet’s Name

The Supreme Court upheld the decision after an Andhra woman appealed the AP High Court’s decision to restore the child’s original surname. Two biological grandparents and the biological mother of a child disagreed regarding the child’s surname.

The AP High Court ordered the woman to include the name of the natural father wherever the records permitted and to include the name of her new husband as “Step-father.”

Image Source: TwentyFour English

In challenging this verdict, the woman went to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court’s verdict is noteworthy. In regards to the ‘Step-Father’ mention, the Supreme Court raised an objection and added that inclusion of the name of a second husband as a stepfather in documents is almost cruel and would affect the child’s mental health as well as self-esteem.

As the Apex Court said, a child identifies himself by his surname, so it is significant. Being identified by a different name than his family would be unnecessarily provocative, leading to confusion and challenging an easeful relationship with his parents.

According to Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Adoption Act, 1956, a mother is in the same position as the father, and she is the natural guardian of the child. After her husband’s death, a woman now has the authority to name or change the surname of her children under a landmark judgment of the country’s top court.

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