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AIBU to think that mothers names & occupations should be on marriage certificates when fathers are?

(45 Posts)
nameequality Thu 30-Jan-14 12:59:10

Marriage certificates in England & Wales have a space for

Father of the Bride: Name & Occupation
Father of the Groom: Name & Occupation

AIBU to think that it is dreadful that in 2014 it is illegal to include

Mother of the Bride: Name & Occupation
Mother of the Groom: Name & Occupation

Article in Telegraph here

Even though this has been drawn to the attention of The Home Office they say "the requirement to include the father’s details in a marriage certificate is historic and would require a change to the present legislation. Currently there are no plans to change the rules." shock

I'm hoping to change that with this petition.

Tokyocalling Thu 30-Jan-14 13:01:46

On birth certificates the mothers occupation is listed. I wonder why the disparity, and if one was updated some time ago, why we're marriage certificates not also updated?

wobblyweebles Thu 30-Jan-14 13:04:34

I think it goes along with the expectation that women will change their names to the man's name. Outdated tradition.

wobblyweebles Thu 30-Jan-14 13:04:54

Oh and the tradition that the father will 'give away' the bride. Another one that never sat well with me.

DarlingGrace Thu 30-Jan-14 13:08:41

I don't think it's important. Although I suppose, with the amount of blank father spaces on birth certificates, can someone legally put a fathers name and occupation on a wedding certificate?

MrsSquirrel Thu 30-Jan-14 13:30:49

YANBU it's an anachronism. I can't imagine the government being bothered enough to introduce legislation, though.

Also, just as an aside, the forms do not say 'bride' and 'groom' on them. Just as well, really, as we will be having same-sex marriages soon.

DoJo Thu 30-Jan-14 13:49:36

Whilst I can see your point, and agree that it's outdated and patriarchal, I do think that if the government are going to embark on costly legislation to balance out an injustice, there are probably more important ones to address first.

wishful75 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:54:24

Yanbu its bloody ridiculous in this day and age

Groovee Thu 30-Jan-14 13:55:23

My marriage certificate has both parents names and occupations for us both. Is it different in Scotland?

BirthdayMuppet Thu 30-Jan-14 13:57:38

Yes, it always has been different Groovee. Scottish certs are brilliant for family history researchers, much more informative than E&W ones!

Groovee Thu 30-Jan-14 14:09:58

Ah that makes sense.

treaclesoda Thu 30-Jan-14 14:11:48

I've never understood why occupation has to be stated at all.

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 14:14:31

I don't see why the government shouldn't embark on this - is it really so costly to change a few lines of text?

That is an odd way of seeing things. That there are more important legal texts that we should be spending our money on. There must be loads of legislation passed daily that many would consider trivial.

OOAOML Thu 30-Jan-14 15:22:53

I'm in Scotland, and my certificate has names and occupations for all parents with mothers listed with both maiden and married surnames. So much more sensible for future family history researchers.

SomethingOnce Thu 30-Jan-14 15:55:03

I had no idea about any of this.

What if your father is estranged but sadly not yet dead? Can you put n/a?

MrsSquirrel Thu 30-Jan-14 16:52:09

If you know your father's information, you are supposed to tell, even if you have never met him. The father's name and profession is for identification purposes ony, doesn't have any other implications.

The registrars are not allowed to put n/a or not known or anything like that on the forms. If the person does not give the information, they put a line in the space on the certificate, so it cannot be altered or filled in later.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Thu 30-Jan-14 16:57:52

I'm not sure why you need your mother or your father on your marriage certificate at all.

CaterpillarCara Thu 30-Jan-14 16:59:10

They are on my marriage certificate! (didn't get married here though, wonder if I have just outed where I got married...)

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 30-Jan-14 17:08:49

It's (obviously) extremely bad for women's history.

If you are a historian trying to trace women, this sort of information is crucial. It's one of the many things that wipe women off the historical record. And that in turn leads to the myth that women 'didn't do much' in history. Which I think becomes very personal when you imagine your own mum becoming a forgotten name.

NinjaPenguin Thu 30-Jan-14 17:45:17

What if, technically, the state were my parents, due to losing PR/residency? I am only certain of his first name, which could possibly be a nickname? You can't just put (e.g) 'Jim' on there, right? So I'd put N/A? (Soon getting married, and am interested).

Procrastinating Thu 30-Jan-14 17:46:55


Bigredsevs Thu 30-Jan-14 18:28:07

Struck me as bizarre that our fathers names and occupations are listed on our civil partnership certificate -one in Brazil, one in Qatar- when they have never even met each other! and no space to include our mothers who are much more involved in our lives -and at least have met!

MrsSquirrel Thu 30-Jan-14 18:29:12

NinjaPenguin it is the registrar (or other authorised person) who fills in the forms, not you. As I said upthread, it is not permitted to put n/a. If you explain your situation to the registrar, they will fill in the form appropriately. If there is no informaton to record, they put a line in that space on the certificate.

Congratulations BTW

DoJo Thu 30-Jan-14 18:45:48

Simply - yes. Any change in the way procedures are carried out, particularly ones which take place as often as marriages, would be hugely costly. Even the cost of printing new certificates, training every registrar to complete them correctly and entering the data onto the official record would cost a lot of money. It's not that I don't think it's worth doing, just that I don't think it should be a priority.

I'm surprised that you think my opinion that there are more serious injustices to be addressed is odd - I can think of several hundred things that bother me more than this, although I appreciate that you may not agree.

DoJo Thu 30-Jan-14 18:47:06

And I agree that there is plenty of other trivial legislation passed - not sure whether that's relevant either.

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