Mother being natural guardian of kid has right to determine surname: Supreme Court

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Top court was managing a case between mother, who remarried after death of her first husband and therefore the parents of the deceased biological father of kid

Mother being the natural guardian of the kid after the demise of the daddy has the correct to choose the surname, said the Supreme Court Thursday while setting aside an order of the province supreme court which directed a lady to incorporate the name of her second husband in records as a stepfather.

A bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari said the direction of the court to incorporate the name of the woman's second husband as a "stepfather" in documents is "almost cruel and mindless of how it might impact the mental state and self-esteem of the kid."

"To obviate any uncertainty it's reiterated that the mother being the sole natural guardian of the kid has the proper to choose the surname of the kid. She also has the correct to present the kid up for adoption.

"The Court may have the facility to intervene but only if a prayer specific to it effect is formed and such prayer must be centered on the premise that child's interest is that the primary consideration and it outweighs all other considerations," the bench said.

The top court was coping with a case between the mother, who remarried after the death of her first husband, and also the parents of the deceased biological father of the kid about the surname that ought to run to the kid.

The bench said after the demise of her first husband, being the sole natural guardian of the kid, how can the mother be lawfully restrained from including the kid in her new family and deciding the surname.

The top court said that a reputation is very important as a baby derives his identity from it and a difference in name only from his family would act as a relentless reminder of the factum of adoption and expose the kid to unnecessary questions hindering a smooth, natural relationship between him and his parents.

It said there was nothing unusual in an exceedingly mother, upon remarriage, having given the kid the surname of her second husband or perhaps giving the kid in adoption to her husband.

"A surname refers to the name an individual shares with other members of that person's family, distinguished from that person's forename or names; a surname. Surname isn't only indicative of lineage and may not be understood just within the context of history, culture, and lineage but more importantly, the role it plays with relevancy the social reality together with a way of being for youngsters in their particular environment. Homogeneity of surnames emerges as a mode to make, sustain and display 'family'," the bench said.

On the difficulty of adoption, the court said consistent with the Encyclopedia of faith and Ethics- Adoption indicates the transfer of a baby from old kinsmen to the new. the kid ceases to be a member of the family to which he belongs by birth.

"The child loses all rights and is bereft of all duties concerning his natural parents and kinsmen. within the new family, the kid is just like the natural-born child with all the rights and liabilities of a native-born member.

"Therefore, when such a toddler takes on to be a kosher member of the adoptive family it's only logical that he takes the surname of the adoptive family and it's thus befuddling to determine judicial intervention in such a matter.," it said.