The toddler daughter of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk has everything you would expect: a sweet smile, curious nature and finicky tastes.
But, in the eyes of the state of Georgia, the 22-month-old child has no name.
According to Handy and Walk, the Georgia Department of Public Health refused to issue the infant a birth certificate with the last name the couple chose for their daughter: Allah.
The ACLU of Georgia has filed suit on behalf of the couple, who say they can’t get a Social Security number for their daughter because they don’t have a birth certificate. They also anticipate problems with access to health care, schools and travel. Already, they said, they had to cancel a trip to Mexico.
“We have to make sure that the state isn’t overstepping their boundaries,” Walk said. “It is just plainly unfair and a violation of our rights.”
State officials, however, said the child’s name — ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah — does not fit the naming conventions set up by state law. They say that ZalyKha’s last name should either be Handy, Walk or a combination of the two.