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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 26 Mar 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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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
Axle - Your Question:
I have a daughter of 9 years, my ex girlfriend refuses all contact with me since she has moved on I pay her an agreed amount each month as a privately agreement I'm not on the birth certificate do I legally have to pay this money as I'm being refused all contact every time I try to get in contact I'm ignored please can someone help

Our Response:
Regardless of whether you are on the birth certificate or not, you are still seen to be legally responsibile to support your child financially whether you see her or not. Child maintenance and access are not connected. However, despite the fact you are not on the birth certificate, you are still entitled to apply to have access to your child if your ex is refusing. If you want to set the wheels in motion towards access, I suggest in the first instance you write a letter to your ex requesting access/ or suggest mediation in order to make an contact plan. If your ex ignores you, you may wish to seek some legal advice in order to explore your options and also ask a solicitor to write a letter to your ex outlining your rights and the procedure you will take if she continues to ignore your requests. If after this you cannot afford the legal fees of taking the matter to court for contact, you can self-litigate, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 2-Feb-17 @ 12:05 PM
I have a daughter of 9 years, my ex girlfriend refuses all contact with me since she has moved on I pay her an agreed amount each month as a privately agreement I'm not on the birth certificate do I legally have to pay this money as I'm being refused all contact every time I try to get in contact I'm ignored please can someone help
Axle - 1-Feb-17 @ 11:04 AM
I have been paying £70 a week for my daughter that is 7 years old but now the csa are saying my payments should be £115 a week which I believe is totally wrong. Thing is she hasn't got my surname and I'm not on the birth certificate, so do I actually have a right to not pay the amount they are saying??
Tony - 21-Jan-17 @ 6:57 PM
My ex partner has my 17m old daughter.We split up 2 weeks ago and my name was never put on the birth certificate (which I had no say in at the time).I have agreed to pay her money each week, and that we don't have to go through the courts, but so far she has not been that willing to agree fixed times I will be able to see my daughter on weekends (my work in hours and her nursery times mean I realistically won't be able to see her at all through the week). What are my options if she decides I can't see her or if I have her and she decides out of the blue she wants her back at hers? Am I in a really terrible situation not being on the birth certificate if communication breaks down completely (which it may do as she's already blocked my number and only contacts me to pay bills). Thanks in advance
Rg - 13-Jan-17 @ 7:36 PM
Abbie - Your Question:
My partners ex has refused to put his name on his children's birth certificates but is demanding Csa. We provide for what they need when they need it but this is not good enough for her. My partner had told her that he will provide a set amount per week if she agrees to put his name on their birth certificates. She wants to pursue Csa without him being named, which I am pretty sure she can do? But what can my partner do to gain legal rights over his children and have his name put on their birth certificates? We have looked into going through court but simply cannot afford the costs. Please help!

Our Response:
Your partner would have to apply for Parental Responsibility which will give him some rights over the welfare of his children, and is effectively the same as being registered on his children's birth certificates, please see link here. If your partner is on a low income, he may get a reduction in court fees, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 13-Jan-17 @ 2:08 PM
My partners ex has refused to put his name on his children's birth certificates but is demanding Csa. We provide for what they need when they need it but this is not good enough for her. My partner had told her that he will provide a set amount per week if she agrees to put his name on their birth certificates. She wants to pursue Csa without him being named, which I am pretty sure she can do? But what can my partner do to gain legal rights over his children and have his name put on their birth certificates? We have looked into going through court but simply cannot afford the costs. Please help!
Abbie - 12-Jan-17 @ 10:22 PM
My partners son has lived with us since April 2013 , with no contact with his mum , my partners ex did not put his name on the birth certificate when he was born They married after his son was born (although divorced now) , how does he go about getting his name on as we want to take our family abroad on holiday and have no other means of getting the passport , my stepson still does not see his mum it's been over 2 years since she last had contact where does my partner stand ? We wrote a letter which we got her to sign when she handed my stepson over saying she gave full parental responsibility to my partner what can we do when we don't know where the ex is .
Moe - 8-Jan-17 @ 7:31 PM
Hi my partner ex give birth 2 weeks ago to he is daughter my partner has seen the child once and on that visit she told him say your goodbyes as your not seeing her again since then she has messaged saying your not allowed to see her then the next text you can see her tonight giving my partner about half hour to get there when it takes over an hour to travel she won't put his name on the birth certificate my partner is heart broken any advice would be amazing thank you
Jade - 7-Jan-17 @ 7:57 PM
My daughter is about to be 6 yrs old. Her father has never even tried to see her. He is not on her birth certificate. We were at a fair right next to him he saw me and grabbed his girl friend akd walked away fast. I am now married and my husband has Been there for her, her whole life. How hard would it be for him to adopt her?
tash - 6-Jan-17 @ 3:26 PM
Marc - Your Question:
My ex hasn't put me on the birth certificate to my daughter and I'm paying £210 a month. She is 2years old and I haven't seen her in that time and every time I send birthday and Christmas cards she sends them back. Do I have any rights atail

Our Response:
Yes, you do have rights, certainly to apply for both parental responsibility and or access to see your child. In the first instance, I suggest you get in touch with your ex suggesting mediation, please see link here. If your ex refuses, then your next option would be to apply to court for a C100 contact order and parental responsibility, please see link here. If you cannot afford the legal fees, you can self-litigate, please see link here. You may also wish to seek legal advice regarding your best options, as sometimes a solicitor's letter stating suggesting mediation and warning of your application to court if access is not granted may help.
SeparatedDads - 21-Dec-16 @ 12:17 PM
My ex hasn't put me on the birth certificate to my daughter and I'm paying £210 a month. She is 2years old and I haven't seen her in that time and every time I send birthday and Christmas cards she sends them back. Do I have any rights atail
Marc - 20-Dec-16 @ 5:52 PM
an - Your Question:
Hi, My son is using my last name and the real father don't have a signature on his birth certificate. My son is already 6 years old. He haven't known his real father since he was born. We have no communication since then. Now I am married and my husband wants my son to use his surname. My son knows that my husband is his real father. Is it possible that my son can use my husband's surname?

Our Response:
Your son can use your new husband's surname unofficially. However, you would have to apply to court to have his name changed officially.
SeparatedDads - 14-Dec-16 @ 12:39 PM
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