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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 16 Nov 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.

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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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
I am not putting the dad on the birth certificate for reasons.I am not stopping him for see the child soI have said he can come down to mine and see him/she when ever he wantsjust 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 ?
Louise - 16-Nov-17 @ 7:24 PM
Pears84 - Your Question:
Hi my partner is not on his daughter's birth certificate but recent DNA has proven him to be the father, his ex won't put him on the birth certificate but he does see the baby and pays for her. How does he go about getting his name on the birth certificate?Thanks

Our Response:
Your partner would have to apply to the court for parental responsibility, please see link here. The court can instruct that his name is added to the birth certificate. 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.
SeparatedDads - 16-Nov-17 @ 10:26 AM
Hi my partner is not on his daughter's birth certificate but recent DNA has proven him to be the father, his ex won't put him on the birth certificate but he does see the baby and pays for her. How does he go about getting his name on the birth certificate? Thanks
Pears84 - 15-Nov-17 @ 10:28 AM
vic - Your Question:
Hi my partner has had a claim for child maintence from the cms after four years. His name is not on the birth cerficate the child has another mans name on his birth certificate he has had no contact with the child. Does he have to pay maintience

Our Response:
If your partner has been named as the father, then unless he can prove he is not the father, please see link here, he will be expected to pay child maintenance. You partner will have to pay the DNA test fee of £258.60 if requested by CMS. However, the cost will be refunded if the test shows that he is not the parent. If your partner refuses to have the test, then CMS will presume he is in agreement that he is the father and he will be expected to pay child maintenance.
SeparatedDads - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:59 PM
Hi my partner has had a claim for child maintence from the cms after four years. His name is not on the birth cerficate the child has another mans name on his birth certificate he has had no contact with the child. Does he have to pay maintience
vic - 11-Nov-17 @ 2:27 PM
I had a one night stand with a woman and 2 weeks times she told me of been pregnant. I thought it was good news. Been giving her money to baby stuff till nearly 2 months that I stop . We been having argument and saying things to each other and she will be due soon . Right now I wanted to be part of my kids but from the way things are going I don't know if this woman gonna name me on the birth certificate for me to have OR in order to have a say over my kids . I have all sort of proof about money going to her accounts and buying baby stuff which shows I'm responsible person . I need help ? How to get PR
Mild10 - 31-Oct-17 @ 6:20 PM
Anda - Your Question:
Hi.I have two beautiful twin girls which are a result of IVF.my ex partner couldn't have naturally so he had it frozen.3 month in the pregnancy we broke up.at the end of the pregnancy I gave him an other chance.he was present at their birth till I registered their birth certificate and I decided not to put him on but I told him about my decision from before the birth and he agreed.now when he realised he's not on he decided to stop answering my calls and my texts but I received a letter from the mediator.I haven't attended yet.my question is can he claim any paternal right specifically if he has a criminal record and he consumes drugs?I don't want him in my life or my babies life.

Our Response:
If your ex is the biological father, then yes, he can apply to the courts to claim parental responsibility if you refuse.
SeparatedDads - 30-Oct-17 @ 4:01 PM
Hi...I have two beautiful twin girls which are a result of IVF ...my ex partner couldn't have naturally so he had it frozen...3 month in the pregnancy we broke up...at the end of the pregnancy I gave him an other chance...he was present at their birth till I registered their birth certificate and I decided not to put him on but I told him about my decision from before the birth and he agreed...now when he realised he's not on he decided to stop answering my calls and my texts but I received a letter from the mediator..I haven't attended yet...my question is can he claim any paternal right specifically if he has a criminal record and he consumes drugs?...I don't want him in my life or my babies life...
Anda - 27-Oct-17 @ 2:10 AM
Alex - Your Question:
My daughter is two and her mother has recently passed away she declined me any contact throughout this period although I tried and my family, she didn't put me on the birth certificate because she didn't want meTo have any rights. When she passed away I asked her mother (my child's grandmother) if I could see her numerous times and she told me to back off while she is grieving. I have waited untill she is ready as requested but now she tells me she is applying for a parental guardianship order. This hasn't been discussed with me and I haven't been given a fair chance do I have any right to dispute this

Our Response:
You do have a right to dispute this. However, if the grandmother does not consent to your seeing your child, then you would have to seek legal advice about taking the matter to court for the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. Much will depend upon why your ex stopped you from seeing your child. If there was no valid reason, then the court should issue you with parental responsibility for your child and/or an access/contact. It is unlikely a court will issue you with residency of your child, if you have never been part of your child's life to date and your child does not know you. 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. If you cannot afford the fees to have legal representation in court, you can self-litigate, please see link here. However, before any application goes to court, your solicitor may send a letter to your child's guardian to request that she attends mediation as you wish to apply for parental responsibility and access, please see link here . If you wish to dispute the guardianship order, then you will need to seek legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 16-Oct-17 @ 10:37 AM
My daughter is two and her mother has recently passed away she declined me any contact throughout this period although I tried and my family, she didn't put me on the birth certificate because she didn't want me To have any rights. When she passed away I asked her mother (my child's grandmother) if I could see her numerous times and she told me to back off while she is grieving. I have waited untill she is ready as requested but now she tells me she is applying for a parental guardianship order. This hasn't been discussed with me and I haven't been given a fair chance do I have any right to dispute this
Alex - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:37 AM
Skippy - Your Question:
My ex girlfriend wont let me take my 2 year old son home but we are both on the birth certificate she says I can come to her mums house tobhave supervised contact but I dont want to do that I just want to collect him and drop him back off.

Our Response:
If you cannot agree between you, then you would have to ask your ex attends mediation in order to sort out arrangement, please see link here. If your ex refuses, then your only option would be to apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 12-Oct-17 @ 12:01 PM
My ex girlfriend wont let me take my 2 year old son home but we are both on the birth certificate she says i can come to her mums house tobhave supervised contact but i dont want to do that i just want to collect him and drop him back off..
Skippy - 10-Oct-17 @ 5:18 PM
JPAB - Your Question:
Hi my partner has a 5 year old son bus he isn't on his birth certificate and the baby's mum is being extremely difficult. He and the mother have never been a couple although she hoped that they could be. It one of those situations where they met on a night out and 9 months later he found out that he's a father. Of course it was hard for him to accept this especially that he didn't know the girl but he carried on seeing him but everything was on her terms whatever he did she had to be there. and eventually when she finally agreed for him to have baby on his own she just suddenly stopped him from seeing the child. My partner was only 20yo then and lived far away he tried to see his son but she never allowed it, her excuse was if our son ever asks about you or sees you then I will I don't want you to hurt him etc etc. Anyhow he has been seeing his son again since december last year but it's not been easy it's all been on her terms she wasn't a fan of my partners mum so his family were not allowed to see his son until last month, he isn't allowed to take him away anywhere unless she's around she wants to play a happy family around their child which isn't something my partner wants. She always complains about the fact that she has to do 99% of the parenting so he offered to have the son every other weekend from Friday to Sunday but because We live together and she argues with my partner that I am not allowed to see his son she isn't allowing this. he tries so hard to be a good dad and build a bond with his baby but she's making it difficult. She says keep my son out of your love life and if you end up marrying her or having children together I've isn't going to be there nor meet him. Please can someone advise me if my partner has any rights or if there's anything he can do to get them through court/ process and chances of winning it. May I add the boy is absolutely absossed with him and loves him so much.I don't want to play mummy with someone's else's child I'd just be around and be their friend she's scared that that's what I want to do but I would never aim to take somebody's child away from them but it is making our relationship and future plans difficult and almost impossible.

Our Response:
It is impossible to guarantee what a court may decide. However, before the matter goes to court, it would have to go through mediation. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the child and the courts do want fathers to have relationships with their children, so will do all it can to make this happen. Unless his ex can provide/prove a good reason why your partner's child should not have a relationship with you, it will not prohibit you from having contact with the child. The fact the mother may not 'like' the situation is not a good enough reason. 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. Please also see link here.
SeparatedDads - 25-Sep-17 @ 2:16 PM
Hi my partner has a 5 year old son bus he isn't on his birth certificate and the baby's mum is being extremely difficult. He and the mother have never been a couple although she hoped that they could be. It one of those situations where they met on a night out and 9 months later he found out that he's a father. Of course it was hard for him to accept this especially that he didn't know the girl but he carried on seeing him but everything was on her terms whatever he did she had to be there.. and eventually when she finally agreed for him to have baby on his own she just suddenly stopped him from seeing the child. My partner was only 20yo then and lived far away he tried to see his son but she never allowed it, her excuse was if our son ever asks about you or sees you then I will I don't want you to hurt him etc etc. Anyhow he has been seeing his son again since december last year but it's not been easy it's all been on her terms she wasn't a fan of my partners mum so his family were not allowed to see his son until last month, he isn't allowed to take him away anywhere unless she's around she wants to play a happy family around their child which isn't something my partner wants. She always complains about the fact that she has to do 99% of the parenting so he offered to have the son every other weekend from Friday to Sunday but because We live together and she argues with my partner that I am not allowed to see his son she isn't allowing this.. he tries so hard to be a good dad and build a bond with his baby but she's making it difficult. She says keep my son out of your love life and if you end up marrying her or having children together I've isn't going to be there nor meet him.. Please can someone advise me if my partner has any rights or if there's anything he can do to get them through court/ process and chances of winning it. May I add the boy is absolutely absossed with him and loves him so much. I don't want to play mummy with someone's else's child I'd just be around and be their friend she's scared that that's what I want to do but I would never aim to take somebody's child away from them but it is making our relationship and future plans difficult and almost impossible.
JPAB - 23-Sep-17 @ 12:29 PM
Jhogg82 - Your Question:
Hello, Please can you provide any advice.My partner has a child from a previous relationship. He is not on the birth certificate but they did have a DNA test when the child was born which the mother had this letter confirming he is the father. He currently pays money directly to the mother each month and this was a private arrangement they made. The mother has made it as difficult for him and his family to see the child and he has now not seen the child for a year due to her being so difficult. He does not know what to do as he is not on the birth certificate and he is still paying the money each month directly to the mother. Please can anybody advise on what he can do? many thanks

Our Response:
Your partner has two options, request his ex attends mediation, and if she refuses apply for a C100 contact order through court, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 14-Sep-17 @ 2:47 PM
Hello, Please can you provide any advice. My partner has a child from a previous relationship. He is not on the birth certificate but they did have a DNA test when the child was born which the mother had this letter confirming he is the father. He currently pays money directly to the mother each month and this was a private arrangement they made. The mother has made it as difficult for him and his family to see the child and he has now not seen the child for a year due to her being so difficult. He does not know what to do as he is not on the birth certificate and he is still paying the money each month directly to the mother. Please can anybody advise on what he can do? many thanks
Jhogg82 - 14-Sep-17 @ 9:34 AM
Lockie - Your Question:
Hello,this is about my boyfriend, he has a 3 year old daughter, there is no order or criminal records he has to prevent him seeing his daughter, he's tried to get in touch and has been begging to see his child however the mothers response is that ' she doesn't know you so no'. We cant afford courts at this moment in time so what do I do. I'm trying to help the best I can but I am stuck on what to say next.

Our Response:
If your boyfriend's ex is refusing him access, then he has no option but to apply to court, please see link here. If he cannot afford legal representation when taking the matter to court, he can self-litigate, please see link here . Also, if he is on a low income, he may get a reduction in court fees, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:45 PM
hello, this is about my boyfriend, he has a 3 year old daughter, there is no order or criminal records he has to prevent him seeing his daughter, he's tried to get in touch and has been begging to see his child however the mothers response is that ' she doesn't know you so no'. We cant afford courts at this moment in time so what do I do. I'm trying to help the best I can but I am stuck on what to say next.
Lockie - 10-Sep-17 @ 1:09 PM
hello me and my girlfriend have ended are relationship and we have a son she said that she stopping me from seeing him and yes my name is on the birth certificate I said to her she cant do that she said she as more rights then I do and we not married so she said I can I don't know what to do
haradeve - 11-Aug-17 @ 6:57 PM
Hiya I have recently found out I'm pregnant I've decided to keep the baby and I'm not with the father. He's keen to be involved with the baby which I'm really happy about but has he lives quiet a few miles away from me which would make it hard for him to see the baby all the time, he's asking me to move my other children miles away from where I live and my family so the baby would be closer to him which I obviously refused as it would not be fair on my other children or me as my family help me when I work. Here's the thing I'm worried to put his name on the birth certificate as I'm ?? sure he will try taking custody of the baby which terrifies me. What would his chances be?
Jill - 11-Aug-17 @ 6:21 PM
Nos - Your Question:
Im not on my sons birth cert. And his mother has got a protection order on me. Ive seen my son all of 10hrs since his birth and he is now a 1yr old. According to the protection order im not allowed to make first contact with my sons or his mother, im to leave first contact to her. She doesnt contact me in months and admitidly I have made first contact a couple times due to me getting sick of waiting to hear about myson and then I get blamed for not contacting her or making an effort to go see him or paying child support. Am I wrong in saying that she has brought all this on herself by getting that order on me and also what can I do to get access to my son. Please help me I really want to see my boy

Our Response:
We cannot say whether your ex was right or wrong., much depends upon whether she felt a protection order was needed. If you wish to seek access to your son, you would have to take the matter to court. Therefore, legal advice would be helpful here.
SeparatedDads - 7-Aug-17 @ 11:53 AM
Im not on my sons birth cert. And his mother has got a protection order on me. Ive seen my son all of 10hrs since his birth and he is now a 1yr old. According to the protection order im not allowed to make first contact with my sons or his mother, im to leave first contact to her. She doesnt contact me in months and admitidly i have made first contact a couple times due to me getting sick of waiting to hear about myson and then i get blamed for not contacting her or making an effort to go see him or paying child support. Am i wrong in saying that she has brought all this on herself by getting that order on me and also what can i do to get access to my son. Please help me i really want to see my boy
Nos - 5-Aug-17 @ 3:26 AM
smiles - Your Question:
I have a grandson and his fathers name was never put on his birth certificate. My daughter and the father lived together until my daughter was incarcerated and she left him with his father. 2months later, his father became ill. They both moved in with the father's mother for appx. 1 month and the father passed away. the day he died, he signed custody over to his parents without my daughters knowledge or consent. Did have any legal rights to do that since he was never on the birth certificate? What rights do I have as the maternal grandmother?

Our Response:
Your daughter herself has a right to challenge this. While you too may have a right to challenge this, much will depend upon how long the child has been in the grandparent's care. It is unlikely the court would move the child from where the child is settled, unless necessary. However, this is purely academic. Much depends upon the circumstances and it is impossible to advise upon what is obviously a complex case. You and/or your daughter would have to seek professional legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
I have a grandson and his fathers name was never put on his birth certificate. My daughter and the father lived together until my daughter was incarcerated and she left him with his father. 2months later, his father became ill. They both moved in with the father's mother for appx. 1 month and the father passed away. the day he died, he signed custody over to his parents without my daughters knowledge or consent. Did have any legal rights to do that since he was never on the birth certificate? What rights do I have as the maternal grandmother?
smiles - 27-Jul-17 @ 1:36 PM
Hi I'm a 26 year old Ronny daughter who is about to turn 2 at the end of the month, I had a one night affair with the mother and she only told me when she was 7 months old but told me I can't be the father as the dates don't match however once my daughter was born I received a call from social services when she was around 6 weeks they was involved from the birth due to the mother having previous children taken from her care due to certain actions she had taken in the past, anyway the social worker explained that the mother believed it was either myself or another man who was the potential fathers however the other potential dad refused to do a DNA test because he didn't want anything to do with her so they asked me to do a DNA test to eliminate one of us so she could find out who the father was. I didn't hesitate to say yes and did a test the next day at a local clinic, within the next weeks I received a call explaining the DNA test came back and it was 99.999999% she was mine. Obviously Iwas ecstatic as this was my first born to begin with I couldn't have contact due to social services being involved and had to have a crb check and a risk assessment which involved checks on my close family also until I could have unsupervised contact.I did all that was required and completed all risk assessments and meetings with many different social workers. I started building a relationship with my daughter and being as excited as I was I asked the mother to put me on the birth certificate and also asked if she would consider putting my surname on the bc also, this instantly caused problems and there after didn't have any contact because the mother was paranoid I was trying to take full custody which was not my aim at all. I had an on and off relationship with my daughter as the mother picked and chose when she wanted me to see her i since found out she got back with the other man in question who initially refused to do the DNA test and he was bringing my daughter up, she wished me away and wanted me to give up stating I'll never see my daughter I did used to have her at home on a weekend I would catch 4 buses in order to pick her up and get back to mine and 4 buses when she would go back, I offered money which she would not take so instead i would buy clothes every time I took her back big packs of nappies milk etc, and always left her with the receipts so she knew how much I was spending I'm not bothered about the money that is not the issue here , eventually my relationship became non existant once again which caused my life to downward spiral and had a bad 12 months binging on drink and drugs(no hard drugs, cocaine mainly) which I know was the wrong thing to do I am now completely clean and away from that lifestyle and currently attending drinking and drug courses to prevent me from relapsing I have regularly urine test for proof I am still not using. I'm recently trying to read kindle my relationship some days she will reply somedays she
Kerr26 - 13-Jul-17 @ 9:22 AM
Sarah - Your Question:
Hello my daughter's father says he gonna take me to court with a solicitor and saying he will get a DNA test done can he still do it without being on birth certificate

Our Response:
Yes, if your daughter's father wants to prove whether he is your child's father or not and you refuse a DNA test, then his option will be to take the matter to court and the court can make a request that one is carried out.
SeparatedDads - 11-Jul-17 @ 12:02 PM
Hello my daughter's father says he gonna take me to court with a solicitor and saying he will get a DNA test done can he still do itwithout being on birth certificate
Sarah - 10-Jul-17 @ 7:22 PM
dan - Your Question:
Hi im thinking of representing myself in court for visitation im 19 years old and the mother of my child has never let me see him and im not on the birth certificate I currently am unemployed and not on any sort of benefits I have interviews with the royal navy lined up as a career goal but would rather resolve this matter before making that decision my son is currently 2 years and 7 months of age the mothers only grounds for not letting me see him is that I dumped her and that I was a former drug user (weed) she also use to take drugs with me when we were together any advice would be great

Our Response:
If you wish to represent yourself in court, the best option you have is to make sure you prepare your case well and are armed with knowledge (our Separated Dads pages can provide this). The court will always have the objective of deciding what it thinks is in your child's best interests. It is not concerned with any critisism of your ex. If you were a former drug user, if you can prove you are no longer this will help you. I would also advise you to join forums and/or groups where you can get advice from other dads who have been through the same or similar situation. Our Separated Dads may help you here. If you are not on the birth certificate you can apply for Parental Responsibility and contact via a C100 form. Please also see link here.
SeparatedDads - 7-Jul-17 @ 10:05 AM
Alex - Your Question:
Hi Guys,Separated dad here.I have a new born daughter (5 weeks) - I was denied access to the birth, not involved in the naming process and asked to leave the house I was sharing with the ex (possible narcissistic personality disorder on the mum's part) as far as I'm aware, I'm not on the birth certificate but have recently been allowed some visits. If I mention anything remotely parental or the birth certificate then she will often get angry, so I walk on eggshells in order to keep some peace. I've had my mediation appointment but she was late to hers and it is now rearranged. The snag here is I am currently retraining on a none payed work placement and living with my parents until I have qualified- so if it goes to court, what are my chances? I'm asking for set contact and parental responsibility.obviously when I finish my studies and gain employment. It's a bit of a pickle and feels extremely unfair. Thanks in advance for any help and support. Good luck.

Our Response:
The fact you do not have much in the way of finances or income has no bearing on whether you should be allowed to see your child. If you cannot afford legal representation (if the matter has to go to court) then you can self-litigate, please see link here . In the first instance mediation needs to be explored, but if your ex refuses, then court is your next option in order to aply for PR and access. We can't predict what your chances are, but as long as there is no domestic violence or other issues involved then you should be awarded access. The court will always decide what it thinks is in your child's best interests.
SeparatedDads - 6-Jul-17 @ 12:34 PM
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