A woman who was seeking to have her 11-month-old twin’s surname changed after their father resumed a relationship with another woman has been knocked back by the courts.
A complicated situation
The Advertiser reports that the babies’ mum had been in a relationship with a married but separated man since 2016. The couple had planned to marry and she fell pregnant, with twins arriving in March of 2018.
At some point, the father of the babies began to see his formerly estranged wife again.
The twins’ parents broke up in May 2018 because the babies’ father had reconciled with his wife.
Seeking to move on from the relationship, the mum – whose name has been suppressed for privacy reasons – then headed to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She sought to have their last names changed from their father’s to her own.
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A lack of support and interest
The mother said the children would not be having a relationship with their father and it would be “confusing” for them to have a different name to her. The twins’ father was not paying any child support, she explained, and had no interest in seeing the babies, she told the court.
The mother argued that removing the father’s last name would make them “less aware of the history of family conflict and also to make them part of a cohesive family unit,” The Advertiser reports.
Taking all this into consideration, the court ruled that it was not in the children’s “best interest” to have their names changed and deemed it unnecessary.
“I am not satisfied that there is any basis for the proposition that the majority of children or young adults are embarrassed by not sharing the name of their primary caregiver,” the court’s Justice Hughes said.
The father did not attend the hearing, The Advertiser reports, as he was at work.