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I hope you can help. I recently got married (in the UK) and I was appalled by the fact that the marriage certificate only asks for your father's name. I questioned this at the time, and nearly called the wedding off. I didn't, however, and I'm now feeling very depressed and guilty - I compromised my principles and let women down. I'm ashamed. What can I do?

I phoned the register office asking to have the certificate changed, with my mother's name appended, but they said this was impossible. Please, please help, having this guilt as well as the constant denial of my title, surname and even first name by 'well meaning' (presumptuous) friends, who incorrectly call me Mrs. M. Hicks, is intolerable. Who can I right to get the marriage certificate changed? I feel so strongly about this. Please advise.

Best regards,

Ms. Anna



You are right to be appalled. I have a friend who got married in Bermuda and I remember her being infuriated that her marriage certificate was the same. It's probably one of those things that many people are appalled by, but no one has challenged it, because it seems like it's set in stone. The reality is that those things won't change until people do challenge them, so I encourage them to do just that. For instance, it used to be that children were automatically given their father's name; now this is different and it changed because people challenged it. I'm not sure how the UK is entirely structured -- I'm based in the U.S. and therefore, not entirely sure about how to direct you. In the U.S., each state has different laws governing marriage laws -- and I think that each go through the civil courts, so one would start there. I hope you can trace this back -- and good for you for challenging it -- I'm sure others will thank you, too.

- Amy



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