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What Rights do I have if I'm not on the Birth Certificate

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 24 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Separation Parental Responsibility

Q.

I'm not on my son's birth certificate and his mother and I are separated. I'm now in a new relationship and have another child and one on the way.

The thing is my son is only five and no longer wants to live with his mother. My ex contacted me and told me to collect my son as she didn't want him anymore. She said all this in front of him and he was very upset and says he wants to live with me forever.

I'd just like to know how I stand as I'm not on his birth certificate.

(A.W, 14 September 2008)

A.

Essentially, the fact that your name isn’t on your birth certificate means you have no legal rights over your son, unless his mother allows it. If it were there, you’d have exactly the same rights as his mother and be able to make decisions about him.

So, as things stand, she could have him live with you, but she’d also have the right to demand that you return him at any time, and there’d be nothing you could really do about it, which isn’t good for either you or your son.

However, there is some good news. If both you and your ex sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement and file it with the courts, you will have full parental rights over your son. If you can get your ex to agree to this, you should do it as soon as possible. That way, if your son does come to live with you and you ex demands his return, you have legal grounds for Contesting The Custody.

If she won’t sign, you could take the matter to court and apply for a Parental Responsibility Order (see our article on Your Separated Father's Rights), but it will generally only be given if the court believes it’s better than not granting an order.

You’d also be very well advised to have her put in writing that’s she giving you custody of your son. If not, she could feasibly turn around and say you snatched him. It might also be advisable to seek a Residence Order if your son comes to live with you. Seek legal advice first, as it may not be possible to get one.

If there is a problem further down the line, and your ex wants your son back, the court will try to take into account his wishes, too. Certainly a big rejection by his mother is a terrible thing, especially if she did it in front of him – so it’s understandable.

You didn’t mention if you’ve had contact with your son since you and your ex broke up. Nor do you mention how your current partner feels about the situation – which is important. Would she welcome your son into your new home? It’s important do discuss things fully with her and make sure you have her agreement.

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Lea123 - Your Question:
My ex boyfriend isn't on the birth certificate, long story short basically we was arguing for a while after I had my little girl she is now nearly 6 months! He hasn't bought her anything one day we was arguing I wanted to get my baby out of the house away from the arguments he wouldn't let me, he ended up head butting me with our baby in he's arms! I have social services they said they will sort contact supervised. He is now saying he is taking me to court? What will the courts say?

Our Response:
We cannot predict what the courts may decide. However, it is likely Cafcass will get involved, please see link here. Much also depends upon what the result of the domestic violence was; i.e if you were injured, had to go to hospital, whether the police were involved and whether a Non-Molestation Order has been placed upon your ex.
SeparatedDads - 25-May-17 @ 10:11 AM
My ex boyfriend isn't on the birth certificate, long story short basically we was arguing for a while after I had my little girl she is now nearly 6 months! He hasn't bought her anything one day we was arguing I wanted to get my baby out of the house away from the arguments he wouldn't let me, he ended up head butting me with our baby in he's arms! I have social services they said they will sort contact supervised. He is now saying he is taking me to court? What will the courts say?
Lea123 - 24-May-17 @ 4:03 PM
Chas - Your Question:
Okay long story short. Im not going to talk bad nor judge. I got pregnant, left the father to go back to my ex. Started my doctor visits when I went back to my ex. The father and I texted back and fourth about his rights, visits and helping cash wise. I did tell him you can see her when she is born and so on. Money wise, I stated to use it towards his other kids he has. He didn't want to. I told him open a saving and put it there so when she does come to visit you have the money on hands. He said no. When she was born, yes shame on me on my end for not telling him I was giving birth. But when he did text, I told him he can come and see her. He asked for me to fly to him for him to see her. I told him no, you want to see her you can fly to her and see her. He got mad. At this moment I am not working and my partner is the one who supports me and my two kids. Now that my daughter is turning one next month he has the nerves to send 3 set of clothes and a baby book, and then have me serve with court papers a week later for his rights. Don't get me wrong but he had all this time to come and see her, now he wants to go through the courts. I understand to put his name on the birth certificate and have his rights be known. But where do I stand in all this, no sleep, doctors, dermatologist, wic, etc. Appt. Help in need of a talk. Im I'm new at this

Our Response:
All we can say is that every father has a right to apply for access, regardless. A court will always decide what it thinks is in the child's best interests - but it does want fathers to have a relationship with their child. Mutual negotiation is always preferable to court and court is seen as the last resort. However, if you contiinue to deny access, then court is his only options.
SeparatedDads - 22-May-17 @ 2:04 PM
Smithy - Your Question:
I'm not on my daughters birthcertificate. And my ex won't let me see her. She's even phoned the police saying that I was stalking/mitherin her haha so my question is were do I start and do I have a leg to stand on ?

Our Response:
In the first place you would have to suggest mediation to your ex. If she refuses, or the mediation process fails only then will you have the option to take the matter to court to apply for access to your daughter and/or parental responsibility. If you cannot afford legal representation you can self-litigate, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 22-May-17 @ 1:51 PM
Okay long story short. Im not going to talk bad nor judge. I got pregnant, left the father to go back to my ex. Started my doctor visits when I went back to my ex. The father and I texted back and fourth about his rights, visits and helping cash wise. I did tell him you can see her when she is born and so on. Money wise, I stated to use it towards his other kids he has. He didn't want to. I told him open a saving and put it there so when she does come to visit you have the money on hands. He said no. When she was born, yes shame on me on my end for not telling him I was giving birth. But when he did text, I told him he can come and see her. He asked for me to fly to him for him to see her. I told him no, you want to see her you can fly to her and see her. He got mad. At this moment I am not working and my partner is the one who supports me and my two kids. Now that my daughter is turning one next month he has the nerves to send 3 setof clothes and a baby book, and then have me serve with court papers a week later for his rights. Don't get me wrong but he had all this time to come and see her, now he wants to go through the courts. I understand to put his name on the birth certificate and have his rights be known. But where do i stand in all this, no sleep, doctors, dermatologist, wic, etc. Appt. Help in need of a talk. Im I'm new at this
Chas - 22-May-17 @ 3:54 AM
I'm not on my daughters birthcertificate. And my ex won't let me see her. She's even phoned the police saying that I was stalking/mitherin her haha so my question is were do I start and do I have a leg to stand on ?
Smithy - 22-May-17 @ 12:48 AM
Karen - Your Question:
My sons dads name isn't registered on his birth certificate !! My son has his mums surname !!! We've recently discussed the birth certificate & agreed to put his dads surname in the middle of my sons name !!!! He now is t happy with this and wants his name in fathers details on the birth certificate!!! If I do this what rights does it give him ???? He wants to be seen as my sons father on the birth certificate ??? What do I do from here please ????

Our Response:
If you register your son's father on the birth certificate, it means he has parental responsibility of your child, please see link here. If you refuse to register the father of your child on the birth certificate, he can apply to court for PR. We can't specify whether he will be awarded this, a court will always decide upon what it thinks is in your child's best interests. However, it is rare that a request for PR is refused.
SeparatedDads - 16-May-17 @ 1:39 PM
My sons dads name isn't registered on his birth certificate !! My son has his mums surname !!! We've recently discussed the birth certificate & agreed to put his dads surname in the middle of my sons name !!!! He now is t happy with this and wants his name in fathers details on the birth certificate!!! If I do this what rights does it give him ???? He wants to be seen as my sons father on the birth certificate ??? What do I do from here please ????
Karen - 16-May-17 @ 2:25 AM
Get an official court standard DNA test then go through the processes of getting named.
Toad2 - 7-May-17 @ 6:52 PM
How can the CSA ask me for weekly payments for a child which I am not named on any legal documents as their parent?
miscellaneous77 - 21-Apr-17 @ 4:38 PM
mig - Your Question:
My ex husband is not the biological father to my youngest daughter, his name is not on her birth certificate but yet he managed to get a contact order, does he have parental responsibility as I was told if his name isn't on birth certificate he has no parental responsibility.he did mentally bully me into having his name on there but it has been removed as he had me lie at the time of re registering, I have now rectified this and he is no longer on birth certificate, however because I have told him he no longer has parental responsibility he still assumes that he does, how can I also get contact order changed as my youngest daughter wants nothing to do with him at all, I have a new partner, whom my daughter loves with all her heart and she off her own mind has asked him to be her daddy, please I need help in this matter, also he has never paid any money towards her clothes etc, not even going to cubs, cub camp or violin lessons. where does he stand as regards to having or rather not having parental responsibility

Our Response:
If your ex is not the biological father of your child, then he will not be issued with parental responsibility. However, if there is a court order in place granting him access, then you will have to apply for a variation to the original order through the courts, otherwise you will be in breach if you do not keep to the terms.
SeparatedDads - 31-Mar-17 @ 2:39 PM
my ex husband is not the biological father to my youngest daughter, his name is not on her birth certificate but yet he managed to get a contact order, does he have parental responsibility as I was told if his name isn't on birth certificate he has no parental responsibility. he did mentally bully me into having his name on there but it has been removed as he had me lie at the time of re registering, I have now rectified this and he is no longer on birth certificate, however because I have told him he no longer has parental responsibility he still assumes that he does, how can I also get contact order changed as my youngest daughter wants nothing to do with him at all, I have a new partner, whom my daughter loves with all her heart and she off her own mind has asked him to be her daddy, please I need help in this matter, also he has never paid any money towards her clothes etc, not even going to cubs, cub camp or violin lessons. where does he stand as regards to having or rather not having parental responsibility
mig - 31-Mar-17 @ 9:39 AM
Dj - Your Question:
Im in GREAT need of help for a friend. Hes been in his sons life since his ex girlfriend was pregnant hes help in active roll in parenting and supporting there now four year old son since before day one. Him and his ex seperated about a year ago and hed seen his son every wednesday and weekend and whenever she needed him to take him, pick him up from day care, etc up until about five months ago.now she will not allow any contact at all between him and his son. His name isnt on the birthcertificate and hes feeling very hopeless. The boy misses his father whom hes known as his only dad from the start and has learned to skate from, count from, walk, run and talk from and spend countless hours loving and growing as attached as a father and son can be. My friend has no idea what to do, his ex is acting put of anger and putting her needs before the childs and being as hes not on the birth certificate, were at a loss of what to do to get my friend back with his son. Help, please!

Our Response:
Please see link: here which will show your friend what he has to do in order to gain access to his son. I hope this and the other pages in our series help, as they contain all the information your friend will need.
SeparatedDads - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:40 PM
Im in GREAT need of help for a friend. Hes been in his sons life since his ex girlfriend was pregnant hes help in active roll in parenting and supporting there now four year old son since before day one. Him and his ex seperated about a year ago and hed seen his son every wednesday and weekend and whenever she needed him to take him, pick him up from day care, etc up until about five months ago...now she will not allow any contact at all between him and his son. His name isnt on the birthcertificate and hes feeling very hopeless. The boy misses his father whom hes known as his only dad from the start and has learned to skate from, count from, walk, run and talk from and spend countless hours loving and growing as attached as a father and son can be. My friend has no idea what to do, his ex is acting put of anger and putting her needs before the childs and being as hes not on the birth certificate, were at a loss of what to do to get my friend back with his son. Help, please!
Dj - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:37 AM
simmo - Your Question:
My ex didn't put me on birth certificate and will not let me see me daughter it's been a year now and I'm paying a substantial amount every month when no access is granted. how do I get on birth certificate to have some rights. As the woman will not agree to it as she's far to unreasonable and hates me more than she loves her daughter

Our Response:
You would have to apply for parental responsibility, please see link here, through the court. You would also have to apply for a C100 contact order in tandem.
SeparatedDads - 22-Mar-17 @ 2:23 PM
My ex didn't put me on birth certificateand will not let me see me daughter it's been a year now and I'm paying a substantialamount every month when no access is granted .... how do I get on birth certificateto have some rights . As the woman will not agree to it as she's far to unreasonableand hates me more than she loves her daughter
simmo - 22-Mar-17 @ 11:12 AM
Hey,am 22years old,I was born in Botswana,but was raised in South African.My father is a motswana and my mother is a South African.I dnt have a birth cerficate nor an I.D.I only have a clinic card.I searched for my father on facebook and I found him.I told him that I ddnt have no papers and my mother is refusing to do anything for me.I went to Botswana to meet my father,we then went to the home affairs there,and they told us that my birth certificate is there on the system,but they cnt give it to us.They need my mother to be there and state the reasons why she never collected it for so long.They could not give it to my father saying his name is not written on the birth certificate,its either we do a partenity test or call in the mother.I then gave them my mother's number and they called her to come to Botswana,but she refused saying her passport has expired....we were stuck there knowing how costly a DNA test is...am nw back in South Africa,I have tried taking the matter to social workers but with no sucess...I couldn't finish my schooling,now I cnt get any job..am stuck.My siblings do have all their South African documents but they were born in Bostwana just like me.I have begged her time and time again she just dsnt want to help at all...am just a nobody without an identification or a citizenship..I dnt know what to do anymore please help me...I have even went to the embassy of botswana at Jorrisen Place and they told me that my mother has to go to botswana and bring my birth certificate this side but she dsnt want anything that has to do with helping me get these documents..please help.
nonoza - 14-Mar-17 @ 5:28 PM
Lohan - Your Question:
Hi, im concerned for my friend. He has a 4 year old daughter with his ex. Another mans name is on the birth certificate as she was In a relationship with him at the time of the birth. His ex goes for months at a time without letting him see his daughter. His daughter knows who he is and calls him daddy, and when she does see him she wants to know why he doesnt see her more. He has tried talking to her but she just doesnt respond and if he calls her she doesnt answer. He saw his daughter on Boxing day but his ex hasnt allowed my friend to her since then. My friend is desperate to be a part of his daughters life, is there anything he can do?

Our Response:
If the mother is refusing contact or negotiation, the only option your friend has is to take the matter to court. Firstly, he would have to request contact via a C100 contact form and a DNA paternity test to prove he is definitely the father, please see link here. A court can then change the name on the birth certificate and award your friend parental responsibility, please see link here. Your friend can either seek legal advice about doing this, or if he cannot afford the hefty legal fees he can self-litigate, please see link here . If a court order is put in place for your friend to have contact with his child, then his ex will have to adhere to it. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 14-Mar-17 @ 11:05 AM
Hi, im concerned for my friend. He has a 4 year old daughter with his ex. Another mans name is on the birth certificate as she was In a relationship with him at the time of the birth. His ex goes for months at a time without letting him see his daughter. His daughter knows who he is and calls him daddy, and when she does see him she wants to know why he doesnt see her more. He has tried talking to her but she just doesnt respond and if he calls her she doesnt answer. He saw his daughter on Boxing day but his ex hasnt allowed my friend to her since then. My friend is desperate to be a part of his daughters life, is there anything he can do?
Lohan - 13-Mar-17 @ 11:42 AM
Hi, I was married with my former wife (we are from both different countries) 9 years and we have 8 yrs old boy. I was a great family man with renunciant and good manners. In addition to that, my son was so close to me and I was his biggest hero, biggest role model. We had a perfect marriage first 5-6 years, then she started to change because of her friends. She used to be such a down-to-earth person. But, she became such a snob and show-off person last 2 years. We had some issues beginning of 2015 but we were never in divorce matter. In November 2015, she suddenly said "she wants to divorce". I was in abroad at that time and working hard and away from her about 1 month. Her reason was "I didn't provide her luxurious life, she is beautiful, she is successful, therefore she needs a better life". Shortly after, I came back and tried to fix our marriage. But, she played some games and I had to leave from our family house with my suitcases only in December 2015. I left everything to her and started to stay in my friend's house temporarily. In Jan 2016, I wanted to go back to house, but she changed the locks even if I was on tenancy agreement. Afterwards, she stopped contact with my son and I tried to meet with my son and her to talk about our marriage. She was keep refusing me to meet with my son and also meet with her. During this time; I regularly had panic attacks (first time in my life), I lost about 20kg, I had sleeping and talking problems. I had to leave from my work because of all these problems as well. In March 2016, she reported me to the police that "I was harassing her". I was only emailing and texting to her to save our marriage. Police interviewed me and obviously they were from her side. She basically wanted me to stop contacting to her and my son. In the mean time, she took my son away without my knowledge and permission. In June 2016, she took me to the court "to take my all parental responsibilities" from my son. She said so many lies and slanders on her statement. I was totally shocked, speechless..! In August 2016, I found out that, her new boyfriend moved to our former flat with his son from his previous marriage/relationship while we are still married and on the court process. In Aug 2016, we had a hearing the judges rejected her order and sent us to SPIP. The judges also told her to show my son to me. I had a lawyer and he was doing his best to get contact with my son. But, she was keep looking for reasons not to show my son to me such as i would kidnap him, I would hit him, I would make him against to her, I shouldn't talk to him in our native language etc. In Nov 2016, we had 2nd hearing and she presented her statement late just to get more time. This postponed our hearing to January 2017. The judges strictly told her to show my son, at least next to the our mutual friends. She said "yes", however she didn't with similar reasons. I did not see my son till January 2017 which was 8 months..! In Jan 2017
WT2014 - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:32 AM
Nel - Your Question:
My son found out that he has a child by a woman who has another man's name on the birth certificate as the father of the child , and she lives with the man , can my son be taken to court for child support even though another man's name is on the birth certificate as the father and is taken care of the child

Our Response:
Yes, if the mother names your son as the father. If the matter goes to court a DNA test will be asked for to prove paternity. If your son doubts paternity, he may wish to pre-empt this by requesting a test ahead of court, please see gov.uk link here and here . If it is proved your son is the father, then the name of the father on the birth certificate can be changed by order of the court.
SeparatedDads - 8-Mar-17 @ 10:06 AM
My son found out that he has a child by a woman who has another man's name on the birth certificate as the father of the child , and she lives with the man , can my son be taken to court for child support even thoughanother man's name is on the birth certificate as the father and is taken care of the child
Nel - 7-Mar-17 @ 6:54 AM
Kris- Your Question:
My wife and I were recently married. She has a daughter from a previous relationship(they were never married). She moved to here to Hawaii to get away from his abusive nature. Now that we're married we want to change her daughter's last name. The biological father's name is Not on the birth certificate. Can we just change her name without getting consent?

Our Response:
As we are a UK-based site, we only have knowledge of UK-based family law and the laws will differ in Hawaii.
SeparatedDads - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:54 PM
My name is on my sons birth certificate and my ex is threatening to leave to Mexico in the morning I dont want to agree to letting her receive the baby tomorrow morning at are normal exchange we have no legal agreement my ex is illegal and very capable of leaving do I have the rite to refuse handing him over?
Jon - 22-Feb-17 @ 5:06 AM
what happens when a father not acknowledged on the birth certificate reenters his 4-yr-old son's life by total chance and removes him from his God-mother's home with the child's absent mother's blessing but the godmother charges kidnap because she didn't agree to it and the father has no standing.Would the father be charged with parental kidnap? Would the child be allowed to return to his mother or would he be detained by child protective services until paternity can be established?
cindy - 19-Feb-17 @ 7:17 PM
My wife and I were recently married. She has a daughter from a previous relationship(they were never married). She moved to here to Hawaii to get away from his abusive nature. Now that we're married we want to change her daughter's last name. The biological father's name is Not on the birth certificate. Can we just change her name without getting consent?
Kris - 17-Feb-17 @ 2:50 AM
I just got married,and my new wife has a child from a previous relationship(never married). We want to change her daughter's last name to match ours. The biological father's name is NOT on the birth certificate. Can we just change her last name without any consent? He has had no part in her life. There has been no visitation or financial support from his end. My wife moved to Hawaii from California to get away from him during to his abusive nature. We just want to move on with our lives, and changing her daughter's last name is part of us moving on. I'd greatly appreciate any info on how to go about this correctly.
Kris - 17-Feb-17 @ 2:43 AM
mushy - Your Question:
I am a concerned grandma , my son is not named on his daughters birth certificate , they separated while she was pregnant , but has recently been seeing his daughter and also providing for his daughter ,he has a message on his phone which states her saying she will use his name as a double barrel on the birth certificate and then says she wont put him on the birth certificate because she says she doesn't want him to have no rights over the child , please can we fight this in court to be named on the birth certificate if we provide dna and prove this with the text message in court

Our Response:
Your son can apply to court for Parental Responsibility, please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-17 @ 1:45 PM
i am a concerned grandma , my son is not named on his daughters birth certificate , they separated while she was pregnant , but has recently been seeing his daughter and also providing for his daughter ,he has a message on his phone which states her saying she will use his name as a double barrel on the birth certificate and then says she wont put him on the birth certificate because she says she doesn't want him to have no rights over the child , please can we fight this in court to be named on the birth certificate if we provide dna and prove this with the text message in court
mushy - 15-Feb-17 @ 12:53 AM
Hi, I'm 39 weeks pregnant. The father and I are not on good terms, he wants joint custody and even threatens me to fight for full custody. I want to work things out and be a family and rather establish visitation on our own. But if we can not do that then I want to leave him off of the birth certificate, and move on with my life in a different state. Which I can not do if we have joint custody. If I leave him off of the birth certificate, can he some how still get joint custody?What happens if I don't attend the court hearing, without his name on the bc? I have asked him to sign his rights over instead of trying to pursue a broken family. But he is not willing to do so.I dont intend on ever going after him for child support.
Kala - 3-Feb-17 @ 8:08 PM
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