Mother wins right to name son

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A legal battle between the unmarried parents of a 16-month-old boy, over whose surname he should be given, ended yesterday in victory for the mother.

The boy, Alexander, was born in March last year just days before his parents, Dawn Wearmouth and Mark Dawson, from Somerset, separated. His mother registered the birth in her ex-husband Tony's name, Wearmouth, which she and her two children from the marriage still use. But Mr Dawson argued that, although Alexander lived with his mother, the child should take his father's name rather than that of a man to whom he was not related. He launched legal proceedings and obtained a ruling in his favour at Taunton County Court in January. Yesterday the Court of Appeal allowed a challenge by the mother, ruling that the choice of her own name was "perfectly logical and natural".