Parents take legal action for the right to give their baby a banned name.

Parents in the US are taking legal action after they were banned from giving their newborn daughter the surname ‘Allah’.

Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk from the state of Georgia want to name their 22-month-old daughter ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah, but the state Department of Public Health has refused to issue a birth certificate.

Now, the couple have gone through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court because they are unable to attain a Social Security number for their daughter without a birth certificate.

A redacted copy of the birth certificate application as filed in the lawsuit. (Image via Fulton County Superior Court)

No Social Security Number will mean problems in receiving healthcare, education, work and in travelling.

“It is just plainly unfair and a violation of our rights,” the girl's father told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Simply put, we have a personal understanding [of the rights] we exercise in regards to the names," Walk continued. "It is nothing that we want to go into detail about, because it is not important. What is important is the language of the statute and our rights as parents."


He said they chose the name "Allah" because it is "noble" and that it has nothing to do with religion.

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According to lawyers for the Department of Public Health, the state code “requires that a baby’s surname be either that of the father or the mother for purposes of the initial birth record” or a combination of the two.

As well as this, it's also reported the state will permit parents to designate a surname that is not shared by the mother or father, if it's "chosen in accordance with a bona fide cultural naming convention practiced in the nation of origin of one or both of them".

Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk want to give their daughter the surname 'Allah'. Image via iStock.

ZalyKha was born on May 25, 2015. She has a three-year-old brother, Masterful Mosirah Aly Allah, who was issued a birth certificate without a problem.

Handy is currently pregnant with her third child.

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