Friday 23 February 2018

Mother wins High Court appeal to have her correct name on daughter’s birth cert

Tim Healy

A WOMAN is entitled to have her correct name put on the birth certificate of one of her six children, the High Court has ruled.

Maria Caldaras (40) is a member of the Roma community who grew up illiterate on an encampment in Romania and when she came to Ireland over 13 years ago seeking asylum, she had a birth certificate given to her when she left home but which was in the name of another woman.

That certificate, with the name Sorina Cirpaci, was in fact that of a related woman in the encampment.   Ms Caldaras was known in the encampment, and in Ireland, by the nickname "Vandana",  as nicknames or petnames are common in the Roma community, the court heard.

It was only when applying for a Romanian passport in 2001 that she discovered, following contact with her mother in Romania, what her correct name was and her correct birth cert was sent on to her, the court heard.

But she had already applied for asylum in the incorrect name.

Sorina Cipaci was also the name put down under "mother's name" when her first child, Sara Stacu, was being registered following her birth in St Munchin's Hospital in Limerick in April 2000.

She applied in 2007 to the Registrar General (of Births, Deaths and

Marriages) to remove the name Sorina Carpaci and replace it with her correct "mother's name" on birth certificate of Sara, who is now 13.   This was refused in 2012.

She appealed this decision to the High Court which today said Ms Caldaras was entitled to have the certificate amended.

The court heard that as a result of issues over the certificate, there had been difficulties in Sara changing school and there had also been problems for the child in obtaining an Irish passport, although that was later resolved.  The correct mother's name is on the birth certificates of her other five children, the court also heard.

The Registrar General had opposed the High Court case, saying that allowing a retrospective change of name in these circumstances creates problems for the administration of justice and policing and in the tracking of individuals.

High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns today found the Registrar General had fallen into error in the decision to refuse to amend.

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