by Frank M. Groves on Jun 14, 2018 Uncategorized
Also contested are attempts to reflect changing notions of family headship on birth certificates. Japan's koseki system, which oversees birth, death, and marriage registration, requires all members of a family to bear the same surname. In practice, this system prevents women from retaining their own last names. Around the world, some people whose last names are different to their children's travel with birth certificates to prove their relationship.
Birth registration has long been useful to governments, allowing them to tax, conscript, and count the population. That effort was traditionally the purview of churches, where the practice dates to the 16th century. It wasn't until 1837, in England and Wales, that birth registration began to become standardized and subject to governmental control.* Several decades later, it was mandatory to register all births in the two countries.