JG - Free birth papers for newborns in 2007
Free birth papers for newborns in 2007
published: Sunday December 17, 2006
Deon P Green, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Beginning in January, the Registrar General's Department (RGD) will provide a birth certificate, free of cost, to every newborn as the agency moves to implement compulsory child registration.
Dr. Patricia Holness, chief executive officer of the RGD, told The Sunday Gleaner that the new initiative would help to increase the number of children registered.
"It means that you won't have the challenges of a child not being able to go to school, while helping those wanting to travel overseas not to borrow their relatives birth certificates, which creates all sorts of problems," Dr. Holness disclosed, following an address to Jamaican migrants in London recently.
She was part of a team including Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis.
The Government also plans to introduce regulations making it mandatory for the particulars of parents to be included on a child's birth certificate.
A birth certificate is a legal document describing details of a person's birth, and is also used as proof of citizenship when travelling to some countries. The RGD now provides copies online.
"We intend to have a national compulsory registration at some time in the future, and one of the principles in this compulsory registration is that it will be required that the parents names are put on the birth certificates," Dr. Davis told The Sunday Gleaner.
Records at the RGD show that approximately 70 per cent of fathers in Jamaica do not have all their particulars on their children's birth certificates, while no data for some fathers are included on their children's birth papers.
The RGD is also introducing a scientific approach to establishing paternity in cases where there are competing fathers.
The RGD is proposing the introduction of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests as a means of verifying the 'real' father when two men are seeking to establish fatherhood for the same child.