When fathers don’t claim their children

Census: Gewog administrations across Trashigang are confronted with at least two to three cases related to the census registration of children without legitimate fathers every year.

The fate of the fatherless children hangs in balance because it takes some time to register their censuses if a mother is unable to identify the child’s father.

Yedham Zangmo, a single mother with four children, said that it took almost six years to register her youngest daughter.

“It was not difficult for my first three kids because the process wasn’t as difficult back then,” she said. “In case of my youngest, however, a relative of mine had to stand as the father because her biological father did not want to accept the truth.”

Kinley Wangmo, also a single mother, has a different story to share. It took her a few years to register the census of her nine-year old child, but the child is yet to get his citizenship identity card (CID).

“I faced a lot of problems trying to enroll him in a school because schools require child’s CID together with marriage certificate of parents,” she said. “Fortunately, the school finally approved his admission.”

Local leaders said that if possible they try to solve issues of fatherless children at the gewog administration level.

“But we do not have the authority to approve census to these children. If problems can’t be solved, we put the matter up to the authorities concerned,” said Samkhar Gup Sonam Dorji.

Kanglung Gup Kinzang Dorji said that it is common to find single mothers in villages.

“This is a serious issue that requires further attention because fatherless children are also born as bonafide Bhutanese citizens. Why should these innocent souls suffer?” asked Kinzang Dorji.

Trashigang’s civil registration and census officer, Dorji Rinchen, said that not many cases come to the office. Cases that come are forwarded to the higher authorities.

“From 2013 to 2015, we saw eight cases and we have forwarded them to the Department of Civil Registration and Census under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs,” he said. “It may take time, but we try to find some way forward.”

Most women today prefer court settlements and DNA tests to determine or confirm their child’s biological father to traditional out-of-court settlements.

Kesang, a single mother, said that DNA tests are expensive for people in the villages.

Local leaders said that sometimes a child’s father happens to be an expatriate and even monk.

“In such cases, there is nothing we can do to facilitate the census registration. The law doesn’t approve of it,” said a local leader.

Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang

4 replies
  1. amrithdiary
    amrithdiary says:

    Marriage is not a cup of tea to be sipped in one single breath. Both the man and the woman must take equal responsibility for their decisions to engage in sexual relationships. The innocent children must not suffer at the cost of wrong decisions of their biological parents.

    MIGNIEN says:

    Why policy makers take a so long time to solve thoses problem of fatherless which concerne a few number of men and women who suffer ! And i think to the poor hildren who are “out of the society” during a so mlong time . Is it possible to write to HER MAJESTY to get an answer rapidly to close those tragedy . This country is telling himself GNH country ! Where is the GNH idea when we see thoses tragedies !!

  3. veevak
    veevak says:

    thanks for raising this issue in the Kuensel. This is the area where deep concern is needed to solve by the respective authorities. I have also became the victim in the similar ground. I have submitted all the required documents in the high court two years back to process my wife’s MC, but so far there is no any fruitful result from high court. Now my child is almost one year old and i am not being able to register her in the census as wife’s MC is yet to be done. Love has no boundaries and i have married a non-national, is marrying non-national crime in a country of GNH. Please suggest and help me how could i get my INNOCENT child registered in the census otherwise there wont be any identities of her. I am really worried please help. desperate father.

  4. logical
    logical says:

    “Local leaders said that sometimes a child’s father happens to be an expatriate and even monk.”

    It is Bhutanese WOMAN’S responsibility not to be associated with expatriate that escapes from responsibility of his actions, damaging the entire life of his offspring into uncertainty of very identity. In case of national monk, he should own his offspring, the child of his woman with whom he consorted. Both EXPATRIATE and MONK are not to be EXEMPT from vital social responsibility. The WOMAN is more RESPONSIBLE in case of her choice to build partnership with expatriate and pain on her is justified for failing to AVOID the STRANGER that took FREE RIDE.

    Putting EVERYTHING to GOVERNMENT is not justified although it is GOVERNMENT that formulates rules and dictates what people should follow. The GOVERNMENT is to be made ACCOUNTABLE for assuming responsibility only in cases of DIVIDING members of the household into several categories for MYSTERIOUS reason and NOT REGISTERING the CHILDREN and GRAND CHILDREN of BONAFIDE BHUTANESE. Peace.

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