Baby will get deceased father's surname after mother goes to court

A Quebec mother who fought to have her deceased spouse recognized formally as the father of their child has succeeded after being obliged to go to court.

Julie Duchesne wanted the paternity of Jean Danyel Savard to be recognized after the province's civil registrar told her it wouldn't be done automatically.

Savard, 36, died in a car accident last July while on his way to St-Felicien, Que. prior to the birth of the couple's first child, Zack.

The couple wasn't married, and Savard died before the birth and couldn't sign his son's birth documents.

This week, a judge found in Duchesne's favour, and the boy will now be able to carry Savard's last name, her lawyer Wolfgang Mercier-Giguere said Friday.

"Given that the law states the father must sign and as he was deceased, the only way to (remedy) was to go through the courts," Mercier-Giguere said. "In our case, we did a DNA test with the paternal grandfather to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who the father is."