#Choosetochallenge - Births Deaths & Marriage's promotes mens ownership of children

#Choosetochallenge - Births Deaths & Marriage's promotes mens ownership of children

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Childrens Surname started this petition to Australian Government and

Taking on the role of fatherhood is optional.
 
There are plenty of men who don't even know they are a father.
 
By contrast, mothers ALWAYS know they are a mother - their body grew and birthed the child, fed it, calmed it, protected it.
 
Men’s belief that they own and get to brand their children with their own names needs to be challenged and changed.
 
As a midwife, I am frequently the person to put a newborn’s first name band (label) on.
 
A newborn is unable to identify itself.  The mother remains with the newborn in hospital, and therefore, we must put the mother’s surname on the baby label, regardless of what legal name the parents intend to give, purely for correct identification purposes to ensure babies go home with the right mother.
 
The number of men who almost have a panic attack that the mother’s name is being put on the baby label is astonishing.
 
This is because our culture believes it is the man’s right to brand his children with his name.  Women are expected to abide by this.
 
The family names of some women are being wiped out because of this practice.  As if they do not matter, or matter less.
 
This petition is about #choosingtochallenge an age old, out of date, patriarchal (some would say misogynistic) practice and get discussion going on how we might navigate this moving forward.
 
Fatherhood should be seen as a responsibility, far more than a right.  A man who wants to be a father should be required to firstly care for, protect and support the mother of the child - not bash them up, abuse them, refuse them financial support etc.  
 
A man who wants to be a father should be only allowed to do so with the permission of the woman who has nurtured and birthed the baby.  They mother-baby dyad is unbreakable and cannot be replaced.
 
Men contribute a microscopic bit of DNA.  Women’s bodies do all the work.  Science will never change that.
 
Some women are lucky to have a wonderful husband who loves and supports them and their children. They happily share their partner’s surname and so do their children.
 
However, I see the struggle every day of women who need to protect themselves and their children from toxic fathers.  Our laws and courts should assist in promoting gender equality.  Yet our courts frequently deny mother’s the right to hyphenate their children’s name to include their own, yet these same courts will happily ‘cold switch’ a child, forcing them to reside with an abusive father.
 
Women’s names are just as important, if not more important than men’s.
 
Women and children are not chattels or property.  It’s time to stop viewing them as if they are.
 
When a relationship ends, women who have been coerced into giving the children their partner’s name, should have the opportunity to have their surnames hyphenated without the need for court battles.  It should be automatically granted.
 
It is time for our government to change laws and birth registration forms to enable this to occur.
 
 
Possible RECOMMENDATIONS: Change the current relevant legislation and birth registration forms to either of the following:
 
a)    allow the parents to agree on the child’s legal surname; but change the current birth registration to include a clause to be signed by both parents stating that upon separation the child’s surname MUST default to the mother AND fathers name hyphenated.
 
Example: Where the mother’s surname is Darcey and the father’s surname is Jones, the parents while in a safe relationship ‘may’ agree to legally give the baby the surname ‘Jones’. Upon separation Birth’s, Death’s & Marriages is to be informed and the baby’s surname is to immediately be hyphenated to Darcey-Jones; or alternatively
 
b) Change legislation and make it a legal requirement for all children to have a hyphenated name. Upon attaining 18 years of age young adults can change their surname if/as they so desire.

 

*photo supplied courtesy of Rae Mitchell enoughgenderedviolence

 

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