In 2021, 2,387 children were registered at the Rio Grande do Norte without the father’s name on the birth certificate, the highest rate since data analysis began in 2016. Last year’s enrollment was also 9.40% higher than the 2020 figure, with 2,182 children missing their parents’ certificates. The survey was conducted by the National Association of Registrars of Natural Persons (Arpen / Brasil). Administrator Samia Miranda, 37, did not have her father’s registration. In an interview with the TRIBUNA DO NORTE report, she talks about how this absence affected her and her sisters’ lives.
Regarding the name missing in the certificate, Samia explains that to this day she does not know how her mother will explain this decision. With different parents, he or his younger sisters were not registered with paternal representation. “My aunts say it’s my mother who didn’t want to register her, you know? She still came after him, looking for everything, but she didn’t want to. I only have my mother’s name on the certificate and I was raised by her and my grandparents. I met my father when I was 8 years old, but I didn’t have much contact. “
This lack creates a void in Samia’s life, because the personality of that ideal father never existed. The administrator said he called his grandfather Daddy, but that was not a complete replacement. Antonia Euphrazio, 73, explained that she did not want her daughters to register with her father’s name because she thought she would handle it as a single mother and was afraid of shared custody. According to him, he did not find it difficult to raise her as he lived with his parents, but it was not easy financially.
“We feel this emptiness, especially on occasions like Father’s Day. I saw my classmates drop their parents off at school and I didn’t have one. Sometimes we would get angry and I would tell my mother that it was her fault for not having the right to receive anything, for example, she never got a pension “, he reports. Nowadays, Samia maintains sporadic communication with her father through a messaging app. The sisters met their father about six years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Separated for two years now, she is now worried about the absence of her son David’s father. The ex-husband works outside the home and the son is not always available in need. “She arrives and spends four or five days with Davy. It’s different, since my son has been in contact with his father since he was little, there are days when he gets very angry, when he cries and complains because he misses it, “he concluded.
Liane Pasos, 33, lives in Mussoorie and needed the services of the State Public Defender’s Office in Rio Grande do Norte (DPE / RN) to get a divorce and restore her three-year-old daughter’s paternity. After her breakup with her ex-husband, the man tested her DNA to see if she was the child’s biological father. The process of reversing the father’s registration has already been brought to justice.
“When we found out we were pregnant, we got married and everything went well. Towards the end of last year, when we separated, he started saying that he was not his and that he had DNA. We went through legal advice and they said it was something that was only resolved in court because it could have an emotional bond.
We explained that their relationship was not close, he rarely saw her. I’m trying to fix it and then I will go after his father, “he said.
Since the separation, Lian has lived with her daughter in her parents’ home. “There are times when I am worried about this“ lack, ”but what good is being with a father? Shoot for me, my parents never separated when I was younger, but he was not present. If you ask me if I miss my dad, sometimes I won’t. They did not stay together at school or at a family party. Thanks to God, I had a mother who was able to provide everything and today I am trying to do it with my daughter. “
Notary explains the process of ancestral recognition
At the 4th Christmas Note Office, located at Cidade Jardim Shopping, Renata Rodrigues is responsible for the Department of Birth and Fatherhood Recognition. The notary’s assistant explained that only parents can get birth certificates for their children. For this, the legal time is 15 days from birth. This period is understood to be 45 days if the mother registers alone.
Parental personal documents such as RG, CPF, birth or marriage certificate as well as maternity birth certificate (DNV) issued by the mother are required to be submitted. The method of identifying paternity varies depending on whether the child is of legal age or a minor.
As a minor, the father must apply for recognition with the mother, fill out a form and present personal documents, birth certificate and proof of residence. With an adult child, the process is the same, but the mother’s presence is no longer mandatory.
In the capital of Portugal alone, there were 10,590 births and 643 missing parents last year. From January 1 to May 13, 2022, this number reached 734 children without a father record. This amount is slightly lower than the same period observed in 2021 (795) and 2020 (771). Renata comments that the call for voluntary recognition of fatherhood has grown. In a general estimate, it says that there are 20 calls per day and six or seven for this purpose. Four of them are cases of missing parent records.
Defender can help recover
DPE / RN offers services that can help locals with this recognition process. According to defender Anna Beatriz Jimenez, the body can function in two ways: extrajudicially and administratively or judicially. “When the father voluntarily decides to recognize the son, we work through the contract. If the child is a minor, we need the consent of the mother. Subsequently, the person in charge can take the contract to a notary office so that it is drawn on the child’s record. In the absence of this agreement, we work in the judicial area. “
In cases where the child requests recognition from the father with disagreement, the judicial process involves steps to investigate the paternity. “As a minor, the child is represented by the mother. Adults enter directly with action. In the process, a DNA test will be done but the father does not need to do that. However, there is a presumption that this DNA is not being tested, and if there is evidence in the record, photos, WhatsApp conversations or witnesses, such documentation could provide DNA and biological paternity will still be recognized, “he explained.
In an empirical analysis, the public defender commented that most of the cases obtained by DPE / RN in civil cases are related to family problems, whether for recognition of paternity or custody and maintenance. In order to be entitled to food, for example, the Civil Code must confirm the presence of paternity in the birth record.
“These family ties indicate multiple rights and duties among them, including the right to reciprocal allowance between parents and children, which is why the name is so important to have on record. Remember that paternity is not only biological and it can also be socially-influenced paternity, which requires court recognition, and civic paternity, which comes from adoption “, he noted.
As a rule, the recognition of paternity is immutable. Exceptions are cases where there is intent, fraud or deception. If a person discovers that the registered child is not theirs, they must sever the bond and file an action to cancel the paternity. If you maintain a relationship with the child, socially-influenced paternity is characteristic and cannot be revoked.
“This increase in cases can be explained by weakening the love bond in extremely fluid relationships. People get together in a stable union, get married and soon separate. This bond is eternal because the child is different; There is an ex-partner, but no ex-son, ”the defender concluded.
Absence can lead to emotional problems
According to child and adolescent psychotherapist Nadja Walleskar, the father has a very structured role in the family nucleus, especially when the family has already come from a current father character culture. Those who do not have this presence want to understand how other family dynamics work. “Parents who are more present and collaborative are in the fantasy of ‘What would it be like if my dad were here?’
Apart from this Father figure, these people have a tendency to be more insecure, emotionally isolated and to bond with toxic people, perhaps in more abusive relationships. “Of course, for each of these situations, other factors also contribute,” Nadza added, “but it is often seen in children and adults who grow up without this support.”
A study conducted in the United States by the NGO National Fatherhood Initiative found that the absence of a father can harm an unregistered person’s physical and mental health as well as create economic and social problems. “There are some people who express this lack a lot, largely relying on their support network. A grandparent, an uncle, or even an older brother or cousin can do something about this father. It does not heal the wound, but it does soften it, “he explained.
According to Nadza, it is important for family members to be very attentive in those moments when these children begin to signal trauma due to their father’s absence. The image of a psychologist or educational counselor may be an alternative to treatment, even in cases where the child cannot verbally express this feeling to the family. First, we work so that they accept this condition and begin to deal with it in a healthy way to find their own way to maturity.