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Atlanta - Parents Win Battle Over Toddler's Last Name Of 'Allah'

Published on: April 20, 2017 11:14 AM
By: AP
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Atlanta - Georgia has issued a birth certificate for a toddler with the last name “Allah” after initially declining to do so because that doesn’t match either of the parents’ last names, a civil rights group that sued on behalf of the parents said Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia sued last month on behalf of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk, who had chosen the name ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah. The group said it is dropping its lawsuit because the Georgia Department of Health has issued a birth certificate with the name the couple had chosen.

“This is an important vindication of parental rights and a long-overdue victory for Elizabeth and Bilal,” ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said in a news release. “No one wants to live in a world where the government can dictate what you can and cannot name your child. It goes against our values, the legislature’s intent, and the plain language of the law.”

Now that the child has a birth certificate, her parents can get a Social Security number for her, which will make it possible for them to access medical coverage and enroll her in public school, the ACLU statement said.

A Department of Public Health lawyer had argued state law requires a baby’s surname to be that of the father or the mother for the initial birth record. They said the last name of the child, who was born in 2015, should either be Handy, Walk or a combination of the two.

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Lawyers for the parents argued that the law says the birth certificate shall include the surname “as designated by both parents.” Additionally, they noted, the state had previously issued birth certificates with the last name “Allah” for two older sons.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 20, 2017 at 11:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Political correctness is yehareig v'al ya'avor with these people. Never mind the trauma it will cause their child as she grows up and is the subject of derision by her peers because of the stupid name her stupid parents have given her.

2

 Apr 20, 2017 at 12:11 PM Oyvey Says:

Another case of parents giving a child a name with total disregard for the fact that the child is also a person who must now go through life with a weird name. Shame on them!

3

 Apr 20, 2017 at 12:55 PM perfumed_bed Says:

To #1 &2
I'm sure that some Jewish names such as Menachem Mendel or Chanania Lipa Yom Tov sound weird or stupid and are impossible to pronounce by the non-Jews. Would you like the government to interfere here as well?

4

 Apr 20, 2017 at 02:29 PM georgeg Says:

To #3. One assumes the child named "Menachem Mendel or Chanania Lipa Yom Tov" is raised in an environment which appreciates the name, pronoucnes the name, and even have other people with similar names. But none of those names excludes or precludes the family name which is on the birth certificate and matches the parent's family name. A statistics web site states there are a total 274 people in the United States with the last name that is the topic of this article.

5

 Apr 20, 2017 at 02:56 PM georgeg Says:

A search on the internet comes up with a rather strange combination of reports, such as the following reported in one-and-the-same article (flying to Mexico on food stamps?):

> they canceled a cruise to Mexico because ZalyKha, now nearly 2, didn’t have the proper documents to fly

> In the meantime, the couple is unable to get Medicaid coverage or food stamps for their daughter because she does not yet have a birth certificate.

6

 Apr 20, 2017 at 09:28 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Political correctness is yehareig v'al ya'avor with these people. Never mind the trauma it will cause their child as she grows up and is the subject of derision by her peers because of the stupid name her stupid parents have given her.

Political correctness? Governments shouldn't be able to dictate to a parent how to name their child.

7

 Apr 21, 2017 at 09:21 AM perfumed_bed Says:

A statistics web site states there are a total 274 people in the United States with the last name that is the topic of this article.
======================================
I suppose that there are no more than 10 families in the whole wide United States with my weird (Georgian) last name. OMG. What do I do now? Should I give my children some common last name so they won't be bullied? But then we will have different last names, oy vey!
Either way, it's MY business, not your business and not the government's business.

8

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