Georgia Deprived Toddler of Birth Certificate for Two Years Due to Name 'Allah'

A toddler in Atlanta who was given the last name "Allah" has been issued a birth certificate after having been denied for almost two years. Her parents filed a lawsuit, telling the court that the state's action deprived their daughter of public services in violation of her human rights.

Wikimedia Commons/LldankertThe State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Georgia.

ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah was born in May 2015 to parents Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk. But the Georgia Health Department refused to issue a birth certificate, citing state policy that requires a child to take the surname of either parent for the initial birth record.

Officials also recommended that the parents follow the rules in obtaining a birth certificate and then file a court petition to change their daughter's name. Handy and Walk rejected this, citing that they secured a birth certificate for their eldest child who was also given the last name of "Allah."

The parents sued, citing that the state's action denied their daughter of food stamps and Medicaid. They also had to cancel their trip to Mexico as their daughter didn't have identification documents. If the girl grew up without an officially recognized name, she wouldn't be able to enroll in public school.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which assisted the couple in the suit said the state's decision was "unconstitutional" and violated the first and 14th amendments. The State of Georgia yielded and released the birth certificate this week. ACLU promptly dropped the complaint.

The couple's eldest son, Masterful Mosirah Aly Allah, is now 3 years old while Handy is pregnant with their third child and intends to use "Allah" for the new baby's last name.

"Allah" is an Arabic term for God and the couple said they wanted the name because it is "noble" and not for any religious reason, Daily Mail reported.