The twins were his children with his estranged wife, and they were conceived in 2007 while the parties were still together although the relationship was a brief one.
When the twins were born in 2008, the father signed their certificates of birth and questioned the mother about their surname following that of their mother’s surname. The latter replied that she would correct the entry later.
In his application, the father argued that his surname should be followed by his twins since this is expected and the view of the “21st century Australia.” That it is “right and proper” that his children bear his surname.
His application was denied by the Court. It ruled that the case was not a case of a mother being inconsiderate did not name the father in the certificates of birth of her children and write her surname as their surname.
As part of the ruling, the Court directed the parties to undergo parenting course and to have shared equal responsibility on their twins’ education, health and religion. Both will share all major decisions affecting their twins.
This case reflects how social change affects the way family law issues are decided. As pure speculation, it may seem I believe that the outcome would have been different if the case was decided fifty years ago. The father’s assertion that it is “right and proper” for his children to bear his surname would have been upheld.
Due to feminism, the role of women in society keeps on changing. And the argument averred by the husband would be viewed as outdated and lacks persuasion. Given different circumstances of the case, the father’s application to change his twin’s surname to his would have been decided otherwise.
Parties, however, must be aware that a decision in this kind of case is not always the same as the law being applied is discretionary. The Court may or may not grant the application for change of name.