Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Asim Walk from Atlanta Georgia want to name their daughter ZalyKha Lorraina Allah. She will be two years old in May 2017 but still has no birth certificate. Georgia state officials said they cannot issue a birth certificate because state law requires the last name to be the same as the mother or father or a combination of both.
The parents said that their choice of name for their daughter has nothing to do with religion even though 'Allah' is the Arabic word for God in Islam. The father told the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Simply put, we have a personal understanding that we exercise in regards to the names. It is nothing that we want to go into detail about, because it is not important. What is important is the language of the statue and our rights as parents"
The American Civil Liberties Union got involved in the case and filed a lawsuit on behalf of the parents against the state of Georgia. The Executive Director of the organization's branch in Georgia said "Government has no business telling parents what they can and cannot name their children.
Elizabeth and Bilal jumped through every bureaucratic hoop that's required to obtain a birth certificate for their daughter, but officials at the Department of Public Health refused to record the birth certificate with the name of their choice."
State officials on the other hand are urging the parents to apply for a birth certificate using a name that respects the law, and after they receive a birth certificate they can file a petition with the superior court to change their daughter's last name to 'Allah'.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution www.ajc.com