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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 24 Feb 2018 | 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.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Hi I've been paying child maintenance and I'm curious to know since I'm not on the birth certificate do I have to pay child maintenance even tho been proven that the son is mine. I have nothing to do with him by joint decision. Thanks in advance
Benjybenn - 24-Feb-18 @ 8:53 AM
Tom - Your Question:
Hi, my ex has stopped me seeing my daughter because she says im not consistant. I only see her 1 a week and pay £30weekly. So I told her I wasnt going to pay her anymore until she starts letting me see her again (didnt no what else I could do) now she has rang the CSA again. She has started claims and canceled them 6 or 7 times with CSA now. Im not on the birth certificate and get no say in anything regarding my daughter. I know I have to pay but what else can I do to see her. I dont have the money for legal advise and doubt I would get anywhere due to not being on birth certificate.

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child access are two different issues. By law, every non-resident parent has to pay towards the day-to-day upkeep of their child, regardless of whether they see their child or not. Access should be dealt with separately. As outlined in the article, if you are not on the birth certificate you would have to either suggest mediation to your ex, and if she refuses apply to court for parental responsibility and access. The court does want children to have a relationship with their fathers, so you stand a good chance of getting both PR, see link here and access. Our Separated Dads forum will help you more with advice. If you cannot afford legal fees to go to court, then you can self-litigate, please see link here . You may also get a reduction in court fees if you are on a low income. However, mediation is the best option to consider first in order to try to come to a mutual arrangement, if you cannot agree between you both, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 20-Feb-18 @ 9:59 AM
Hi, my ex has stopped me seeing my daughter because she says im not consistant. I only see her 1 a week and pay £30weekly. So i told her i wasnt going to pay her anymore until she starts letting me see her again (didnt no what else i could do) now she has rang the CSA again. She has started claims and canceled them 6 or 7 times with CSA now. Im not on the birth certificate and get no say in anything regarding my daughter. I know i have to pay but what else can i do to see her. I dont have the money for legal advise and doubt i would get anywhere due to not being on birth certificate.
Tom - 19-Feb-18 @ 4:49 PM
Smitty - Your Question:
My little girl was born on boxing day I was living with my partner and just after new year we split up, I kept asking her when is she going to register our girl and she never told me, now she has had the baby registered and I'm not on the birth certificate. Now I understand without being on the birth certificate I have no parental rights however she is using my girl as a tool blackmails me for money in return to see my daughter, is there anyway without being on the birth certificate and paying CSA for my child. I work 6days a week earn good money, she is on benifits as she is mentally I'll her family are violent they all ready have my ex's sisters child who was taking I'm worried sick and I feel there is nothing I can do is there any advice I can be giving as in not on the birth certificate

Our Response:
I am not quite sure what your question is here, but I will try to answer it the best I can. If your ex has not registered you on the birth certificate you can apply for Parental Responsibility through the courts, please see link here . You can also apply for access to your child through the courts (if your ex will not agree to giving you PR and access via mediation, please see link here ). You can see how to apply for a child arrangement order here. With regards to child maintenance payments, every non-resident, biological parent of a child (regardless of whether they are registered on the birth certificate or not) has to pay to help support their child on a day-to-day basis. This can be done either through a family-based child maintenance arrangement (where you agree between you), or via CMS. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 13-Feb-18 @ 11:28 AM
My little girl was born on boxing day I was living with my partner and just after new year we split up, I kept asking her when is she going to register our girl and she never told me, now she has had the baby registered and I'm not on the birth certificate. Now I understand without being on the birth certificate I have no parental rights however she is using my girl as a tool blackmails me for money in return to see my daughter, is there anyway without being on the birth certificate and paying CSA for my child. I work 6days a week earn good money, she is on benifits as she is mentally I'll her family are violent they all ready have my ex's sisters child who was taking I'm worried sick and I feel there is nothing I can do is there any advice I can be giving as in not on the birth certificate
Smitty - 12-Feb-18 @ 9:01 PM
astounded - Your Question:
The mother didn't know who the father was, she put the other man on the birth certificate. The baby was taken off mother 2 days old and fostered. Dna test was carried out. Real father is fighting for custody but looks likely baby will be adopted. Is there anything father can do to put his surname on his birth certificate

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The only way the father can challenge this matter, is through the courts and by applying for parental responsibility and residency of his child. However, he would really need to seek legal advice regarding this matter to see whether he has a case to answer.
SeparatedDads - 5-Feb-18 @ 3:19 PM
My ex and I spilt up when my son was 2/3, she has the strings on me like puppet, I was 22 when I met her and she is 12 years older than me, and she had the coil fitted, when she said she was pregnant, I was shocked yet over the moon, the few years we spent together where really on and off, everything on her terms, constantly kicking me out and throwing my clothes out in bin bags. She got a new boyfriend. Moving on I met my wife, we have 2 children together. For the last 7 years has been hell of hundreds of nasty messages sent to my wife, I pay her csa, yet she will not let me see my son. All of a sudden she turns up at my work, unannounced with my son shouting and demanding to see me and make (now 11 year old) son tell me what he thinks of me. Luckily it was my day off and she was asked to leave. She is now sending my wife messages saying has taken a video of our some telling me what he thinks. And then says all his emotional problems are my fault. He has stopped contant between us 7 years. I'm now extremely concerned about what type of mother she really is, using him as a weapon. Surly she should be protecting him if she wants me to have involvement, yet has spent 7 years sending me messages how awful i am etc, I'm not on the birth certificate, I can't afford court as i pay csa. I'm thinking of calling social services because making him feel like this at the age of 11 years old, and I'm not able to have a word in edge ways, is the only way i think of making sure is emotional well being is being protected.
Jay - 5-Feb-18 @ 1:42 PM
The mother didn't know who the father was, she put the other man on the birth certificate. The baby was taken off mother 2 days old and fostered. Dna test was carried out. Real father is fighting for custody but looks likely baby will be adopted. Is there anything father can do to put his surname on his birth certificate
astounded - 2-Feb-18 @ 5:17 PM
My boy is 5 weeks old his dad wanted me to get an abortion and all the way through my pregnancy was horrible and shouted aloud of abuse to me and threaten me, I was wondering does anyone know if I was to claim child support would he get any rights to see him at all? He’s not on the birth certificate, also he says if I don’t let him see him he’ll take me to court, if he took me court do you think he’ll end up with any rights? Thanks
Leah - 28-Jan-18 @ 3:35 PM
A low life got my daughter pregnant when she was 14 years old. He doesn’t give her money for her son because he’s not on the birth certificate and she doesn’t let him see him because he wanted her to have an abortion. Can he get away without paying for him?
Jack - 28-Jan-18 @ 2:05 PM
Jack - Your Question:
Hi, I've stumbled across this section by chance and I'm after some advice. My partner is 14 weeks pregnant and our relationship is breaking down. She has already said if we split up I won't be on the birth certificate and I'll see our child if she wants me to. Is there anything I can do before the baby is born to get things in place so I'm not months without seeing my baby before a court decides? I have a 7 year old from a previous relationship and she stays every weekend and always has done. Will this evidence of active parenting help my case? Thanks in advance

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do until your child is born. If your partner still disagrees to register your name or attempts to prevent access, then you would have to either suggest mediation and if she refuses, apply to court. It is important to put this in place as soon as you can so that you can get access contact underway asap.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 1:42 PM
Zak - Your Question:
Hi I was married an gt seperated he ran away.i moved on years later forgetting that life an my partner an I have been together 9 years we have a 6year old daughter an am currently preg with our 2nd we are know as husb an wife.when my daughter was born I did put my partners name bt they registered her on my ex an said I need to find him to get divorced an then register my partner an my kids.where do I find the jerk as he was an overseas guy.how can I give my kids an my partner they rightful name please help me.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which should tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 9:10 AM
Hi i was married an gt seperated he ran away.i moved on years later forgetting that life an my partner an i have been together 9 years we have a 6year old daughter an am currently preg with our 2ndwe are know as husb an wife.when my daughter was born i did put my partners name bt they registered her on my ex an said i need to find him to get divorced an then register my partner an my kids.where do i find the jerk as he was an overseas guy.how can i give my kids an my partner they rightful name please help me.
Zak - 25-Jan-18 @ 4:43 PM
Hi, I've stumbled across this section by chance and I'm after some advice. My partner is 14 weeks pregnant and our relationship is breaking down. She has already said if we split up i won't be on the birth certificate and I'll see our child if she wants me to. Is there anything I can do before the baby is born to get things in place so I'm not months without seeing my baby before a court decides? I have a 7 year old from a previous relationship and she stays every weekend and always has done. Will this evidence of active parenting help my case? Thanks in advance
Jack - 23-Jan-18 @ 11:11 PM
Ron - Your Question:
My daughters mother died and I'm not on the birth certificate but I want to raise her. The family is passing her around and don't want to take care of her but they don't want me to have her because they don't like me. Her mom never kept her away from me and I was active in my daughter's life. What can I do to get my daughter

Our Response:
As difficult as this situation may be, unless you are on the birth certificate, and as explained in the article you have no immediate rights. If the family do not agree to you having residency of your child, your only recourse if to take the matter to court, to apply for both parental responsibility and a child arrangement order, please see link here ,so the court can make the decision. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put your child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 23-Jan-18 @ 9:19 AM
My daughters mother died and I'm not on the birth certificate but I want to raise her.The family is passing her around and don't want to take care of her but they don't want me to have her because they don't like me. Her mom never kept her away from me and I was active in my daughter's life.What can I do to get my daughter
Ron - 22-Jan-18 @ 4:21 PM
Lwillzz - Your Question:
I am 20 and currently still living with my parents my girlfriend and I are having a baby and she constantly mentions that she won’t put me on the birth certificate or be the birthing partner if this does happen is there anything I can do to prevent this or prove that I am the father of my daughter!

Our Response:
You would have to apply through the courts for parental responsibility, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 9-Jan-18 @ 3:14 PM
I am 20 and currently still living with my parents my girlfriend and I are having a baby and she constantly mentions that she won’t put me on the birth certificate or be the birthing partner if this does happen is there anything I can do to prevent this or prove that I am the father of my daughter!
Lwillzz - 9-Jan-18 @ 12:32 AM
hi I have daughter I have only seen ten minutes when born I'm not on certificate or know of her whereabouts and how can I see her? and can she backdate csa from four years if I get access to see her ?
walshy - 23-Dec-17 @ 5:47 PM
Lmmd21 - Your Question:
I am not on my 3 year old sons birth cert as his mother went and registered him whilst I was at work. She left with my son at 6 weeks old and I've never seen him since. She states I cannot contact her direct. I pay child maintenance and have done all along but do I legally have to pay this when I'm not on the birth cert and cannot see him? Is there anything I can do where she has to add me to birth cert?

Our Response:
By law, every father is responsible for paying towards the day-to-day care of their children, whether they are named on the birth certificate and/or whether they see their children or not. Child access and child maintenance are not connected and should be dealt with as separate issues. With regards to access to your son, please see the link here. If you have never seen your child, then you have nothing to lose by going through this process. The courts do want non-resident parents to have contact with their children, so it would benefit you to take some advice. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can represent yourself in court, please see link here . If you cannot afford court fees, please see the link here . You can also apply for Parental Responsibility through the courts, which means the courts can request your name is added to the birth certificate. If you need further advice, our Separated Dads forum dads will help, as many have been through this or a similar scenario before. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 21-Dec-17 @ 1:58 PM
Debra - Your Question:
Hi my baby girl is nearly a year old now. I did not put the fathers name on the birth certificate since all of my pregnancy was abusive both physically and emotionally but also making me feel nothing but hate for him for the way he was treating me.and also not wanting the baby in the beginning.I’m a single parent now and he is studying in the United Kingdom. His father and mother come and visit the baby occasionally I don’t mind but can’t stop thinking what will he get if he goes to court will he just get visitation rights? Or something more? I really do not want my baby to be with him alone he’s violent and has also been a drug user from a young age. What is the least rights the court will give him?

Our Response:
There are no specific rules pertaining to 'visitiation rights'. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. It makes it impossible to answer such a question as it is dependent upon individual circumstances.
SeparatedDads - 21-Dec-17 @ 12:38 PM
I am not on my 3 year old sons birth cert as his mother went and registered him whilst I was at work. She left with my son at 6 weeks old and I've never seen him since. She states I cannot contact her direct. I pay child maintenance and have done all along but do I legally have to pay this when I'm not on the birth cert and cannot see him? Is there anything I can do where she has to add me to birth cert?
Lmmd21 - 21-Dec-17 @ 5:24 AM
Hi my baby girl is nearly a year old now.. I did not put the fathers name on the birth certificate since all of my pregnancy was abusive both physically and emotionally but also making me feel nothing but hate for him for the way he was treating me.and also not wanting the baby in the beginning.I’m a single parent now and he is studying in the United Kingdom . His father and mother come and visit the baby occasionally I don’t mind but can’t stop thinking what will he get if he goes to court will he just get visitation rights? Or something more? I really do not want my baby to be with him alone he’s violent and has also been a drug user from a young age. What is the least rights the court will give him?
Debra - 20-Dec-17 @ 7:00 PM
Soph - Your Question:
My partner isn’t on his daughters birth certificate but sees her regular, once a week, this is due to work and the mothers agreement. He is not allowed to have his daughter on his own and his ex has to be there at all times. He saw his daughter the other day for her birthday and his ex caused an argument, resulting in her breaking his finger in a door and him breaking her car door. They are both at fault. His ex has reported him for criminal damage for breaking the door and was taken down to make a statement at the police station. What are his legal rights as a parent, who isn’t on the birth certificate, to go through court to be able to see his daughter through a contact cetnre? Thank you!

Our Response:
Your partner does have rights to take the matter to court, if the matter of access cannot be resolved between the parents, and/or your partner's ex will not consider mediation. It may be more difficult if there has been an 'incident'. Much depends upon whether charges have been brought against your partner. He may wish to seek legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 18-Dec-17 @ 2:44 PM
My partner isn’t on his daughters birth certificate but sees her regular, once a week, this is due to work and the mothers agreement. He is not allowed to have his daughter on his own and his ex has to be there at all times. He saw his daughter the other day for her birthday and his ex caused an argument, resulting in her breaking his finger in a door and him breaking her car door. They are both at fault. His ex has reported him for criminal damage for breaking the door and was taken down to make a statement at the police station. What are his legal rights as a parent, who isn’t on the birth certificate, to go through court to be able to see his daughter through a contact cetnre? Thank you!
Soph - 17-Dec-17 @ 8:53 PM
Bek - Your Question:
My partner is named as the father of his ex's child, that he has raised since her birth. The child's biological father now wants to be a part of the childs life and wants to 'pay his way' he has never met the child and has a criminal record for harrassement and GBH towards my partner. What rights does my partner have as the named father and the one who raised the child as opposed to the biological father?

Our Response:
Much depends upon the age of the child and the length of time your partner has been in the child's life. The only recourse your partner has is through the courts as the courts will decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the child. However, it is considered fraudulent to place another man's name on a child's birth certificate, so this would have to be addressed also. It doesn't mean your partner doesn't have a case to answer, especially if he has spent a considerable amount of time in the child's life. However, the biological father has rights too. If the mother is willing to accept the biological father into the child's life, this is her prerogative. If the mother is refusing your partner access, then legal advice would be recommended here.
SeparatedDads - 15-Dec-17 @ 2:27 PM
My partner is named as the father of his ex's child, that he has raised since her birth. The child's biological father now wants to be a part of the childs life and wants to 'pay his way' he has never met the child and has a criminal record for harrassement and GBH towards my partner. What rights does my partner have as the named father and the one who raised the child as opposed to the biological father?
Bek - 14-Dec-17 @ 10:04 PM
Slake - Your Question:
I’m married and considering a divorce from my wife. We have two children, the eldest of which is not biologically mine. I have brought the children up as my own and they know no different. I am not on the eldest’s birth certificate, if things got messy in the divorce, would I have any rights in regards to visitation to my eldest considering I have been her father figure since birth? I am worried that my wife could become difficult as the grounds for our separation would involve infidelity from my side.

Our Response:
As a rule, even if your child is not biologically yours but you have brought the child up alongside your biological child, then you would have a case to answer in court. The court would be unlikely to discriminate against one child in such circumstances. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, if your ex refuses to allow you contact, court would be your only recourse because you have no legal rights.
SeparatedDads - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:46 PM
I’m married and considering a divorce from my wife. We have two children, the eldest of which is not biologically mine. I have brought the children up as my own and they know no different. I am not on the eldest’s birth certificate, if things got messy in the divorce, would I have any rights in regards to visitation to my eldest considering I have been her father figure since birth? I am worried that my wife could become difficult as the grounds for our separation would involve infidelity from my side.
Slake - 26-Nov-17 @ 11:08 PM
Louise- Your Question:
I am not putting the dad on the birth certificate for reasons. I am not stopping him for see the child so I have said he can come down to mine and see him/she when ever he wants just to message me before he comes to make sure I am in. He can pick two days out of the week have him from 7/8 in the morning till 5 at night can he take me to court ?

Our Response:
He can take you to court if you refuse to put his name on the birth certificate and if he wishes to apply for 'parental responsibility'. He can also take the matter to court if he doesn't agree with the access arrangements and you refuse to attend mediation in order to try to resolve any issues. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, court is always seen as a last resort. Negotiations regarding access or other issues about co-parenting should preferably be agreed between you or via mediation.
SeparatedDads - 17-Nov-17 @ 11:32 AM
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