For child’s passport, unwed mother needs to declare if she was raped: Centre to HC

What does this news mean?

For child’s passport, unwed mother needs to declare if she was raped: Centre to HC

Advocate Purnima Bhatia, appearing for the foreign ministry, said an unwed mother must file an affidavit stating “how she has conceived” and “if she was raped” and why she does not want the child’s father’s name included.



Sania Akram (21, name changed) move d court challenging the refusal of the regional passport officer to issue passport in the name of her step-father as recorded in her school/college certificates, saying she must obtain a court order appointing him as her guardian. The officer also refused to alternately include the name of her mother, who has permanent custody of Sania.


Makes sense? What do you think?

Other places where women are required to provide personal information:

Nobody asks men if they are married or divorced if they want to buy a credit card or mobile phone.

Women are disallowed some other options too:

And they said financial independence will solve all women’s problems for all times.

First name, Unwanted. Second name, Dad’s or Husband’s name.


21 thoughts on “For child’s passport, unwed mother needs to declare if she was raped: Centre to HC

  1. That’s something I find really infuriating. Though I suppose the logic behing this may be that a child has the legal right to take his father’s name and it is not up to the mother to chose for the child. Maybe also to prevent a child abduction case.


    • Children only get the right to name themselves what they like when they become adults. As long as they are under 18, they don’t have any inherent right to take their father’s name.


  2. Unwed mother is not seeking child support from the state that it needs biological father’s name to retrieve it from him. What a shame, common sense is so uncommon in public offices. How can passport manual be a classified document? What state secrets can a manual hold? Just redtapism. Each day brings a new surprise of babugiri.

    Desi Girl


  3. Unwed or single mothers, why not her name is enough on all the Gov documents ! Why do our gov need a stamp of a man ? Why unwed mothers need to declare how they concieved? What about her privacy ? Indian judicial system is rotten ! These laws were introduced by British, Britain themselves have move on but India is still stuck on rotten system.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Does the manual also ask unwed fathers (if at all there is such a thing) the same question?
    Why does anyone care how the child was conceived? What’s next, women having to fill forms detailing the exact position the kid was conceived in?
    Does a kid born to an unwed mother not deserve to travel/study outside India?
    We’re such a regressive, misogynistic society! My blood boils when I hear stuff like this.


  5. Never knew that there can be such requirement.

    Passport is proof of citizenship. How come it matters that how the child was conceived as long as his birth and residence is proofed.

    We have simply copied British law which i guess even they have updated. But we will keep beating the bush


  6. MEA clarified: there is no such need. All that is required is an affidavit,. that is gender neutral enough (though somewhat clunkily worded) and the child’s birth certificate.

    The lawyer seems to have made some off-record comments to the judge that were picked up by the reporter. Or it could, of course, be simple ignorance of the actual laws (Such as those that allow women to be the guardians of their children) – being trotted out in court….


  7. In the US, while applying for a child’s passport, the govt requires the signatures of the parents mentioned on the birth certificate. If one parent has given up legal guardianship, then documents need to be present to validate that. I think the reason is that they want the consent of all the legal guardians before issuing the passport as the child can be then taken out of the country.

    What baffles me is why the Indian passport authority needs to know HOW the kid was conceived. It is none of their business. If the name of the father is not there on the birth certificate or if the father has given up custody legally, they just need to verify the documentation and move on. The rest is irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I assume that the question was if the father’s name is not given and/or no such ‘release of custody’ has been submitted. In such a case, issuing a passport would accord custody to the mother to take the child outside the country- regardless of whether she otherwise has legal rights to.

      In the cases of wedded mothers the joint custody is clear unless legally declared otherwise – there would no question of father’s name being absent.

      With unwed parents it is tricky.
      No parent should have to prove he/she deserves custody. Whichever parents wants exclusive custody needs to prove that the other does not deserve custody.

      Perhaps there exist provisions to demonstrate that she is a single parent without the father having any right to stake a moral claim for custody or even claim the information us unknown to even enter in the application. Hence the unsavoury question.


  8. Funny how they accept some guy named by the mother ad father but won’t accept the name of the actual person the child emerged from.
    These archaic laws needs to go and those thoughtlessly enforcing them need an education.


  9. Doesn’t make sense whatsoever! This shows the inability of administrative powers-that-be to accept and grant that women may have their own lives, independent of social mores, traditions, and conventions. They are trying to safeguard the patriarchal mold they are set into. A woman has to explain her marital status in this country even if she goes to an opthalmologist for an eye check-up as I personally discovered. I am not surprised about this edict. All I know is, it’s all bound to change, and go where it belongs – into the trash can. If not today, then tomorrow.


    • I too was asked by an Opthalmologist as to whether I was married, for how long, and whether I had kids. I happily answered all questions.Not until hubby pointed out the relevancy did it occur to me that it was weird.


  10. Why do they care how the baby was conceived ? He/she was born in India and has a guardian. Thats that! Next thing you know they will have options like naturally conceived , test tube baby or IVF treatment :/ This is just so maddening.

    Why can’t we amen our laws which makes no sense instead of just following them blindly ??


  11. Totally irrelevant comment: My daughter has recently started serious fiction reading. She is 7. Can someone suggest children’s books where protagonist are female or have female role models? Any such thing from classics?


  12. Just another way to make a woman’s life more difficult! Developed societies attempt to make life easier for single mothers because they realise that raising a child on one’s own is a huge challenge but there’s a long way to go for our country! What a shame!!!!!


  13. Pingback: 21 Married Women in Chennai Remove ‘Thali’ Despite Husbands Being Alive | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s