Australian tribunal had to name baby girl after parents couldn't agree

An Australian tribunal has had to choose the name for a baby girl, after her parents could not decide on one themselves.

7 News reports the parents, who cannot be named, had a short-lived long distance relationship, but separated before the child's birth.

The parents were in agreement on the first and middle names, but each wanted the child to have only their surname.

The Victorian Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages became involved in the disagreement in May 2017, and opted to give the girl a hyphenated surname, comprising of both parent's names.

But both parents were unhappy with this, and challenged the decision with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The father wanted the child to have his name as a matter of pride for his family and heritage, but the mother said he was not involved in the child's life.

She told the tribunal he did not make an effort to establish a relationship with his daughter, provided no financial help and had visited her only three times since her birth in January.

The father argued it was difficult to visit his daughter, because he lived out of state, but this did not sway the tribunal.

The tribunal removed the father's name from the baby's surname, claiming his absence meant she should not carry his name.

"This will likely reduce potential confusion for the child as to identity, particularly if the father proves to be an absent parent," said VCAT senior member Ian Proctor.

"There unfortunately seems a real possibility that once the issue of the child's name is settled, he will have very little contact."