Justice Roselyn Aburili who ordered the department of birth certificate registration to recall birth certificate containing the name of a man who is not a biological father of a child.


The High Court has warned women against imposing paternal names on their children without express permission of their “fathers.”

It is not enough to carry the National Identity Card of the child’s “father” when making formal applications for birth certificates.

In a landmark decision, the High Court in Kisumu has reiterated that applications for birth certificates must strictly comply with the law.

Under Section 12 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, the application must be a joint request by the mother and father or upon production of evidence of marriage.

Interestingly,the inclusion of names of the “father” on birthday certificates is not mandatory.

Judge Roselyn Aburili pointed out that Article 35 of the Constitution guarantees every person the right to correction or deletion of “untrue or misleading” information contained in formal documents.

“Mothers, please, your children have the right to know who their biological fathers are. Do not include the name of a person who is not the biological father of your child in the child’s birth certificate without that person’s express written consent.

“Do not lie as far as paternity of your child is concerned. We live in a world where one can no longer lie as to the paternity of a child,” the Judge emphasized.

She observed that children have the constitutional right to know their paternity. “Mothers are advised that unless in extreme circumstances of abuse and neglect, they should help their children to know their fathers. This is because the psychological benefits of having their father present far outweighs the negative effects his absence will have on the child now and in the future,”Justice Aburili reasoned.

The Judge cancelled the contentious birth certificate dated April 27, last year, which was obtained by a woman for her nine-year old son, after the alleged father disowned paternity. The Registrar of Births and Deaths in Kisumu is now required to issue a fresh one without the names of the complainant.

The Judge noted that the aggrieved “father” was vindicated by two DNA reports that were conducted “independently and at different times and places.”

“There is evidence adduced beyond reasonable doubt from the two DNA reports filed in this court that the applicant is not the biological father to the minor and he has no interest in the child having or using his name on the birth certificate,” the Judge said.

She said the minor, who was born on February 10, 2015, had the right to a name and the decision to include the name of the complainant was made by his mother.

The aggrieved man petitioned the court on November 16, last year, saying he had a romantic relationship with the woman in 2014 and she made him believe he was responsible for her pregnancy.

After some time following the birth of the child, he became suspicious of the paternity and stopped providing financial support. The woman reported him to the Children Department in Kisumu where he agreed to resume his obligations.

During the period, he privately took the minor for DNA assessment where his worst fears were confirmed. He was not the boy’s biological father.

In her affidavit opposing the petition, the woman admitted they were work-mates and developed an intimate relationship that bore them the boy.

She had claimed the man acknowledged paternity, gave the boy the name of his deceased brother and proposed his baptismal name.

The woman admitted they were not married but claimed they had been co-parenting and the boy knew him as his father.

When the boy reached school-going age, she claimed the man provided his National Identity Card to enable her process the Birth Certificate.

The warring parties had appeared before the Judge on December 19, last year when the woman asked for more time to negotiate. However, they hit a deadlock on January 30, this year and they agreed to have the second DNA test conducted.

After the Government Chemist in Kisumu file. the report in court on February 14, this year, the woman and her advocate stopped attending court. The evidence of the aggrieved man was taken on May 23.