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The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) is reporting a significant increase in the number of birth certificates that are now being processed with the names of both parents.
In an interview with JIS News, the entity’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charlton McFarlane, said that of the total number of births registered over a one-year period, 80 per cent of them include the mother and father’s information.
“We have had instances where a mother would register a child and does not mention who the father is. That is a statistic that we monitor closely at the RGD,” he noted.
Mr. McFarlane said that over the years, the RGD has embarked on several campaign initiatives to improve the number of fathers whose names are on their child’s birth certificate.
“One of our major initiatives that resulted in a massive improvement for us is our bedside registration initiative. We have registration officers present at the hospitals, and they get to see the fathers before the mothers check out. This has resulted in registrations being completed instantly without the parents having to fill out any forms or pay any fees,” Mr. McFarlane told JIS News.
He added that the existence of a father’s name not only “results in the complete registration of a child” but it plays a vital role in instances where a “father residing overseas may want to file for his child or take out benefits and insurance for the child. A complete birth certificate also helps in the settling of estate matters, among other things”.
To aid in the continuous promotion of birth registrations, the RGD will be hosting a ‘Status Day’ on June 20, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at all 10 of its locations.
This will allow fathers, whose names would not have been added to their child’s birth certificate, the opportunity to do so, by filling out an Addition of Father’s Particulars/Status form.
The application form can be accessed on the RGD’s website at www.rgd.gov.jm, or any of its offices. Persons may also call 876-619-1260/ 876-749-0550 for further information.