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Story Highlights

  • A promotion by the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), encouraging Jamaican fathers to include their particulars on their children’s birth certificates, has been receiving positive feedback since it started last month.
  • As part of the promotion, fathers who complete this process will have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, inclusive of gift baskets and gas refill vouchers.
  • The RGD launched the annual promotion, as part of an ongoing initiative to ensure the full registration of persons who do not yet have their father’s information on their birth certificate. The exercise will last until July 10.

A promotion by the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), encouraging Jamaican fathers to include their particulars on their children’s birth certificates, has been receiving positive feedback since it started last month.

As part of the promotion, fathers who complete this process will have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, inclusive of gift baskets and gas refill vouchers.

On June 22, the day following Father’s Day, the RGD launched the annual promotion, as part of an ongoing initiative to ensure the full registration of persons who do not yet have their father’s information on their birth certificate. The exercise will last until July 10.

According to statistics from the RGD, for 2013, some 25.2 per cent of fathers were not registered on their children’s birth certificates. This is a slight decrease from the 29.4 per cent who were unregistered in 2009.

“We realize that there is a need for children to have a verifiable identity, including their father’s name on their birth certificate. Based on that, this is an avenue for the RGD to just reach out to the fathers and to tell persons to come in,” explained RGD Communications Officer, Shanique Hayden, in an interview with JIS News, adding that the persons who have been presented with gifts so far have been very excited.

Ms. Hayden said the response on the agency’s Social Media sites has also been overwhelmingly positive since the promotion, and many persons have started to make queries about how to go about the process themselves.

“Even though the promotion is for fathers, it’s not only fathers who are participating, but you have mothers as well who are getting the fathers involved in this,” she said.

Marketing and Planning Manager at the RGD, Nicole Whyte, said that during the promotion period, the agency puts in place provisions to better facilitate the process, which has, over the past five years of the promotion, contributed to its success.

“Also, because we give out prizes, the fathers see it as an additional motivation to come in. Usually, this is something that fathers would do periodically, but when a promotion is on, we make it convenient for persons to fill out the forms on the spot and then give them a chance to win a prize,” she said.

Ms. Whyte further added that the process is important because children who are not fully registered can be affected in the long run, as it becomes necessary in matters of immigration, as well as in the settling of estates, among others.

To complete the Addition of Father’s Particulars process, a form can be downloaded from the agency’s website www.rgd.gov.jm or be collected at RGD offices, islandwide.

Both parents are required to complete the form in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, Attorney at Law, School Principal, Clerk of the Courts, or a Notary Public if either parent is overseas. The completed forms should be returned to any RGD office along with valid identification of both parents.

Fees for this process range from $1,500 for one copy for a regular six to eight weeks service, $3,500 for a seven-day service and $5,500 for the express service of three days.

Ms. Whyte is also reminding that fathers have up to six weeks after the birth of a child to add their particulars to the child’s birth certificate, with no associated costs.

The RGD is responsible for the storing of records of births, marriages, still births and deaths in Jamaica.