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Old 02-19-2020, 03:06 PM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is offline
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Default Changing Vital Statistics Act- name selection

Hi All,

Appreciate all the discussion on this forum and everyone sharing their insights. It is really helpful to hear from others who have been in similar situations.

One aspect of those of us who have been through the thunderdome of court is that we will never be the same as prior to entering the courtroom. Some of the stuff that gets argued is mind-boggling as they should be no-brainers. At times we even think that the laws should be changed to not permit such nonsense and protect others from having to go through similar ordeals.

For example, the name of a child when couples separate and Name Change/Selection. I cannot believe that my ex had the audacity to suggest that the father was "unknown or unacknowledged". Pure vindictiveness. Allowing her to unilaterally name our child. Unless the registry office has a letter of consent from the other parent saying they are fine with unilateral name selection or don't care, or there is a court order of some sorts allowing the mom to use her last name only, it should be automatic hyphenated last name. Period. The only bright side and consequence, the inability to recognize me as a parent at birth and the commencement of unilateral decision making only helped my case in the need for joint custody....

How many times has this been argued in court? Literally, a search on Canlii shows the outcome is always the same when mom purposefully leaves dad out of the name selection process: Hyphenated Last Name. Judges have ruled on how vindictive leaving dad out of the name selection is, and how it negatively affects the child in terms of forming their sense of identity. One of the best reads is the Trociuk case in British Columbia (Trociuk v British Columbia 2003) where it states "Since the above discussion has revealed that including his particulars on a child’s birth registration and participating in choosing the surname are means by which a father participates in his child’s life, arbitrarily leaving him out of these activities is to exclude him from meaningful involvement. Such exclusion cannot be presumed to be in the best interests of the child, and therefore is not an ameliorative purpose that would justify excluding a father from a mode of meaningful participation in his children’s lives."

Yet I, and many others, had to spend time and money on legal fees to deal with rectifying this no-brainer in court, in addition to focusing on the number of other issues needing to be addressed such as custody and parenting time. Perhaps changes need to be made to the Vital Statistics Act to not permit unilateral name selection for last names when it is evident that the mom knows perfectly well who the dad is. It would not be a big change to the legislation, but I'm sure it would be a welcome change by judges who constantly have to deal with arguments over the name of children.
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