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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 22 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
Child Separation Parental Responsibility


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)


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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my partner and i split up early in the pregnancy and she always said i could my daughter after the birth this all changed she admitted she blatantly left me off the birth certificate so i had no rights i did not know she had even been born she has 2 other children and has prevented both the fathers from having contact and not registered them also on the birth certificates, my daughter is nearly a month old i have purchased clothes a coat which my ex asked for i have asked for contact she said no i have sent a letter recorded delivery expressing my concerns and that i want contactshe still says no what can i do next i am heart broken is it the c100 form or do i have to have mediation which i can ill afford please could someone advise me off what to do next she is laughing and messing with our daughters life
westy - 22-Oct-20 @ 8:17 PM
My son is 2 and im.not on birth registration ive been seeing him but now she is stopping me i want my son dont no what to do
Curt - 16-Oct-20 @ 9:59 AM
You all men are wicked leaving your women when they're pregnant abandoning them and now you want your child
Ada - 20-Sep-20 @ 1:25 PM
I was with my ex for 4 years we have a nearly 3 year old daughter together but we split up when she was born for abit so she never put me on the birth certificate, now she is stopping me from seeing my daughter and using her as a weapon against me what can I do?
Jon - 16-Sep-20 @ 4:44 PM
Hi I have a daughter who is now 4 years old and I tried contacting her mum to see if we could come to an agreement so i can see my daughter again after 3 and a half years of not seeing her as her mother stopped me from having any contact with her how do I go about this and how do I go about see if I'm on the birth certificate please help ??
AZZ - 8-Sep-20 @ 10:39 PM
I see my daughter shes 16 pay her 100 pound fone billstill give her moneysoy do i still pay her mother 200 a month
Dai - 29-Aug-20 @ 7:47 PM
HI. I have a 19mt old baby which i have always been allowed to see. However, i never got put on the birth certificate. My ex demands child maintenance which i have always paid because she told me i would have to to see my kid, Is any of this illegal in the uk
jim - 4-Aug-20 @ 6:50 PM
What do I have to do if my child has someone else's surname? - Ted
Charry - 14-Jul-20 @ 11:07 PM
My sons mother is not on his birth certificate but I am do I have the legal right over her
Blog Black - 14-Jul-20 @ 3:25 AM
My ex not let me see my son , she send me few pictures and that’s it !! She not putting me on the birth certificate either ....... where do I stand on seeing him ? Please
Jimbob - 25-Jun-20 @ 7:25 PM
I haven’t met my baby boy yet because his mother said if I’m not in a relationship with her I’m not allowed contact with him. Just wondering what I would be able to do to see him
Adam - 7-Jun-20 @ 8:19 AM
Hi there my sons 5 months old I'm not on birth certificateand recently met him 3 to 4 times within a week the mother has stopped me and her reason was just because she can. I'm heart broken and started have a bond. Don't no what to do as don't have much money
Danlfc - 29-May-20 @ 1:25 AM
Hi iim a mother of my 32 yearold daughter i seprated fromher biolgal father 20 more years agoand he has nowpassed away.met a new partneraand he has been a very important role i my daughters life. we are not married and was wondering if or how he can beccome her guardian so he has the same rights as me
Niknack - 21-May-20 @ 2:12 PM
My biological father was never in the picture of my life no paid any child support. His name was NOT on the birth certificate. I was raised by my mom and first step dad until I was 7, then later by my second step dad from 8 to current. My step dad wanted to adopt me with my mother's permission which she granted. They had to track down my biological father to get him to sign away his paternal rights. My question in this is: Did he have any parental rights to sign away in the first place?
Lost - 7-May-20 @ 4:42 AM
My xwife and i got a divorce...few months later she was pregnant..she had child while we was divorced..she signed as legally married to me so child got my last name on birth certificate...what can i do
Lilron - 6-May-20 @ 11:30 AM
@stevieg84.plus I don’t have any contact or ever received photos or have known there whereabouts or ever had any part off her life for 13 years .so that’s why it’s easy for me tell myself I never had a daughter and never was a father .me I have my mates and I stick with( my kind and couldn’t be happier).i have a a lot off I wouldn’t say power but pull in my circle and know they look up to me .now I think it’s best she say with her mother and partner and I mean that in my heart .i said what I wanted to say in (messages nothing else to discuss end off story time to move on ).
C.laurie - 11-Apr-20 @ 8:33 PM
@stevieg84.i am in the same situation.i can tell you what not to do if she won’t answer your calls (STOP CALLING MESSAGING NOW )with that kind off time frame she most likely would have thought you have (giving up ).now what you must do see seek( legal advice this is your only option if it’s been eating you up inside) .for myself I have (giving up )I tried to change but I was (angry) and i sent threatening messages and challenges to her partner to come (fight me )I didn’t care about (police listening) to my messages I really (lost my head like years ago) .and hate that because when I get like that it’s (dangerous I fear nothing I would fight police and have in the past ).in my situation and (knowing myself) it’s best for me to give up my mind is made up now .i never had a (daughter that’s what I tell myself and it works ).
C.laurie - 11-Apr-20 @ 8:09 PM
I haven’t seen my son since he was 3 months old,he’s nearly 8. I have taken my ex partner to court and won parental responsibility, but I’m still not named as the father on his birth certificate. If I’m not on the birth certificate, should I be paying child maintenance? The reason I’m not seeing him is because my ex partner states that he’s not well enough to have any contact with me. I want to keep paying my initial payment but the payment as significantly increased this year and now I’m struggling to pay.
Baggies - 11-Apr-20 @ 4:18 PM
I haven't seen my daughter since she was 2 she's 12 now. My ex went out her way to make it as difficult as possible for me, I'm not on the birth certificate she hasn't tried claiming csa or anything. It's really been eating me up lately. I don't know how to approach it, I've tried contacting the mother to no success. I really need advice on what I can do, please help
Stevieg84 - 11-Apr-20 @ 3:43 PM
I have a issue that my ex won’t let me see my son. And I not on the birth certificate either and she demands me I pay Child Maintenance, with me not being on the birth certificate and my ex won’t let me see my son, Do I still got to pay Child Maintenance to my Ex.
IRowe85 - 4-Apr-20 @ 1:33 AM
What happens when a father's name is not on first birt certificate, mother denies DNA testing for the first child, moves away, changes all names (herself and child), doesn't want child Maintenance payments the first time around.During this time father tries to get in contact with no luck, tries two different solicitors, mediation services with no luck.... Waits.....then four years later shes comes back, gets back together with father, gets pregnant, goes away again, changes address for the second time (2 private detectives can't find them), birth of second child and again no name of father in birth certificate. And then 10 years later CMS starts asking for maintenance for both children even though no proof of father on birth certificate and no visible contact with two children for 13years? Is this right?! Is the even legal!!?? If not someone please tell me that I'm not loosing my mind and the the system is totally wrong because this has been my life for those 13years!!
13yearsofsilence - 10-Mar-20 @ 8:17 AM
My son is not kn the birth certificate,but he pays maintenance,the Ex wint ket him see the child,does he have any rights
Melwa - 3-Mar-20 @ 5:19 PM
Hi I am not on the birth certificate my ex never let's me see the child can child maintance take money from me
Rogr - 18-Feb-20 @ 9:34 PM
My sons dad is not on birth papers so would I be allowed to change my sons last name to my new partners name ?
Mrs k durling - 13-Feb-20 @ 2:31 PM
I have a child and I am not on her birth certificate but we share responsibility! Now I want to be on her birth certificate but my ex is refusing and she saying we should do DNA but I have never doubt she’s my daughter! Please help!
Mich - 13-Feb-20 @ 2:15 PM
My Daughter is now 35 years old, she came into my life only 8 years ago,I am not the Father named on the Birth Certificate, but have undertaken a DNA test and am the father to a lovely daughter and grandad to a lovely granddaughter. She wishes to change her name to mine, and also wants me to be able to make decisions on her behalf if the need ever arises, the Mother is fine with all of this, the sticking point may be the father named on the birth certificate. Is there anything we can do formally to grant everyone's wishes and remove the named father from her life altogether.
Pat - 22-Jan-20 @ 9:21 PM
If another mans name is on the birth certificate, do I have to pay the CMS?
Smitty - 22-Jan-20 @ 12:05 AM
Asking for a friend...hes ex hasnt put him on birth certificate and wont let him see hes son ..what is hes best course of action to getting on birth certificate and to be able to see him . Both parents are on benefits..mother has parents paying for all legal things
Jayne - 18-Dec-19 @ 10:14 AM
@5952.after reading your story made me think .i (apparently) have a daughter I haven’t had contact in 10 years (my choice ).now I have (very little) but when I do die the (child will be left nothing gods truth )I will have a (legal will) everything (insurances )will be left to my (brothers gods truth )even if I do marry one day she won’t get nothing either (gods truth ).i will make sure it can’t be (contested) because in reality without a (DNA test) I am (90 percent sure )I am not the (bio father gods truth I have medical proof ).which will stand up in the legal system if the leeches come for a hand out when I pass .
C.laurie - 24-Nov-19 @ 7:51 PM
Hi, l wonder if anybody can give me some advise regarding my uncle who passed away in July this year. He passed away without making a will.he lived with his partner for many years,but never married.So she has no legal right to make a claim against his estate. He has left a large amount of money £160,000 & a House valued at £120,000. lt now transpires he had on son who is now sixty years old.He has now made a claim on my uncles estate for everything. My uncle never married his mother,& my uncle is not named on his birth certificate.l obtained a copy certificate from the General Register Office.Only the mother is on the certifiicate in her maiden name. Nobody in our family ever knew a had a son,so you can imagon the shock of finding this out now. My uncle told me & others family members at my mothers funeral in May this year that a son exsisted & lived in Scotland.So the first time l ever met his alleged son was at my mothers funeral this year. My uncle told me & others many times at the funeral and afterwards he did not want anything to do with his son who had been pestering for years demanding my uncle hand over to him his house & all his money. My uncle had nothing to do with his son, & disowned many years ago with no contact at all betwreen them.Only by phone,which after a period of time he refused to take his calls.My uncle told me he had disowned his son many years ago because he was ellegatly a drug dealer & was sent to prison. Because of that & other rows about his money etc my uncle wanted nothing to do with him. Which his son is fully aware of this, but kept on bothering him for many years right up to my uncle passing away this year. His son then tried to get my uncles death certificate from the hospital where my uncle passed away. They refused to give it to him as he did not have any proof of identity to establish he was in fact my uncles son. He said he would prove it by having a DNA test done.l don't know if he hadthat done,he has refused to tell me any results.But his solicitor went to court to obtain a order to get my uncles death certificate which has now being given to him.So arangments for my uncles funeral can now to take place,but again he has refused to tell anybody the date or where or when the funeral is taking place.Not even my uncles partner knows any details. Finally to my point. My uncle passed away without leaving a will ( intestate) Does his alleged son have the legal right to his whole estate? As my uncle is not named on his birth certificate is he ( his son a half Sibling ?) What will now happen to his sole claim to my uncles estate? Are other siblings like myself entitled to a share of his estate as l am next to kine? l would be very grateful for any advise or infomation on the above matters. Than you for any help you may be able to help with this.
5952 - 24-Nov-19 @ 3:22 PM
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