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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 13 Nov 2019 | 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 son is 5 years old now and I was not with his mum for very long, as soon as she was 3 months pregnant she kicked me out with no notice nothing ( I felt she used me just to have a baby) . Ever since he's been born all its been is drama, I can see him then I cant its just a big game to her.Now she's got this new fella its even worst he's jumping in now calling the shots. I did see my son for the first time in over 2 years this year but over money she's stop me again with the fella telling me a can't see my child. Oh and just to top it off my name ain't on the birth certificate when we agreed for me to be on it. ( she knew what she was doing)what can I do if anything.
Hurtdad - 13-Nov-19 @ 8:10 AM
Struggling to find the initial advice I need.My boy is Ia cin programthis pp was breached by both. Now ifturn ul to collect the police will get rod of me but if I dont go I'll have breached the plan. The social worker trl. Ex if she let's behave my boy shewill ha e both taken, I'm kept in dark a y one to explain anything would help. I fear the social workers are playing my ex. Please someone point me in the right direction. They have a head start already. Or would it be better to think about damage limitation. A few moments of anyones time. Or a legal firm that will help and fast. Notbothered about legal aidbut not bothered. I can not loose myboy. Everything else has already been taken from me and I'm worried itlleto late
Frostie987 - 8-Nov-19 @ 6:38 PM
Good Evening, As all these stories go, Ex and I split up. Turns out she's pregnant, She gives birth to a boy. Kept me in the quiet. Registers the boy with no father. She "meets" someone new. Falls pregnant. Baby 2 is born. Both Ex and new partner register baby 2 with both Mother and fathers name. Re-Registers Baby 1 with new Partners names as Dad on the birth certificate. (Roughly a year after baby 1 was born). Fast forward 10-11 years. Ex pops up from out of nowhere. Saying that she has told baby 1 that I am his Dad and that I am now allowed to see him. I go through courts for access and Parental rights. I was given access. Two years of hard work and she then again disappears with "My Son". Fast forward another two years. Ex's new partner (Partner number 3 i think ??), Is at my front door with "My son", Saying he is now your responsibility. Then leaves him with me with nothing but PJ's. So I do what any other Dad would do and take him in and help rebuild his life. So, I go to get his birth certificate to find out that Partner 2's name is on the birth certificate. Also that I have no legal responsibility for "My Son" as I was only granted access. Mentioned this in a heated conversation and the next thing I know is that they have taken "My Son" to Ex's Aunties. Now I find out that the poor lad is going to be kicked out of his Aunt's and they want me to take him in. At this point, I have no idea who the Original father is, If it is me, Well it goes without saying. If it's Partner number 2 who has been paying CSA for all of this time (Well when he is not inside). Or if it's a random person's kid and we are all being played. Also, can she force the lad to stay here ?. I know that if he does, she can call the police and say that I have kidnapped him. :/
Confused Dad - 17-Oct-19 @ 8:10 PM
Hello..do i have to pay child maintenance if iam not on the birth certificate..thanks
sim - 17-Oct-19 @ 5:58 PM
I have two children who I have not seen since April 2018. I am not on the birth certificate but I have had dna tests to confirm both are mine. Legally I believe I have no rights currently. Would it cost to go to court to force the right
Stu889 - 11-Sep-19 @ 3:41 PM
These women want it all their own way to raise the children without help from their fathers until they dont as long as you keep paying for the upkeep.Then they can hand them back to youwhen they are olderor got problems and say they no longer want them (ie the novelty has worn off) and you find in a lot of cases that the child has suffered because they still wanted to have led the lifestyle before they had them.Cynical you bet most of them are utterly selfish and self centered and are not mother material in the first place.LLL
essy3 - 29-Aug-19 @ 6:21 AM
What happens if you agree to take on a child before it's born as long as real dad isn't ever involved you put your name on birth certificate 14 yrs later you split up and father don't want to put up unless on his terms other wises he's going to CSA and say he's not the dad
Petal - 9-Aug-19 @ 9:38 PM
Hi my child's mother is merried another man.my name is not on the birth certificate.she take my son with them.and I have court order for sometime.i don't have any problem in changing to his mother's maiden surname.can I continue with the court order?'cause I don't want to get into their marriage or disturbing in their family.i am afraid to call the stepfather to cancel the order. Thanks Mobile.
Moholo - 27-Jul-19 @ 3:18 AM
I've not seen my children for about 9 years. I have son who I last saw when he was 4, (hes 13 now) and I daughter I've never met (she's 8 in August).This Saturday just gone, I received a letter from the CMS from my ex girlfriend.We were never married, nor lived together. My name isn't on their birth certificates and its never been proven that I'm their father, yet shes asking for £2000 per child a year (£4000) based on a wage I don't earn anymore.I have bills to pay, rent to cover, food, other expenses myself to pay.Do these people take into account what the other assumed parent has to pay in his own life before coming up with these ridiculous amounts?How am i supposed to live?Ive had mental health issues and depression, anxiety over this situation for the last 13 years. (because i missed 4 years of my sons first few years plus these last 9). I can't cope with all this!What can i do?
Richie83 - 17-Jul-19 @ 12:58 AM
My wife is still used her surname and is notcoming on this country is from Lesotho and Nou my child don't have certificate I want my child have certificate
Chokoe - 30-Jun-19 @ 2:39 AM
Hi I have currently lost my job and my ex partner is saying if I don't pay I don't see her, I've always worked all my life and I've always contributed and paid maintenance from when we split as per cmo correspondence, what legal rights do I have, it's making me ill and I don't know what to do
Mat - 20-May-19 @ 3:02 PM
My son was born to another woman when I was married to my ex wife his mother named his paternal grandfather as his father knowing I am his father she then lied to him for the last 13 years about who I am every time I got close to him they would move and not say where they are now he knows she is being dishonest with him and saying I didn't want to know him as my son that's not the case all I ever wanted was to bond with my son and be in his life how do I do this legally
Baden - 27-Apr-19 @ 10:45 AM
I had csa contact me a while ago now and agreed I am the father of my 2 middle children but I am not on the birth certicates I have requested a DNA test by what I my legal rights if not on birth certicate if anyone knows please
Mj - 25-Apr-19 @ 10:50 PM
Hi me and my partner had split up we have been on good terms but she is refusing to let me put my name on birth certificate. Is there anyway that I can appeal against it to have my name put on it through court?
John - 1-Apr-19 @ 7:17 PM
@davidp.i am not smart men and I don’t know if my daughter is mine 100percent withouta DNA test .but once I seen her photo I new she was mine because I felt the love in my heart for her it just come out naturally .
Chris - 26-Mar-19 @ 8:24 AM
@davidp.i have a 14 teen year old daughter .i was harassing the mother and I could have caused trouble for her new relationship I said some (home truths )and wanted to know if I was the (father) .i was cautioned bye police to stop messaging her I was sent to court and was told only contact should be though a solicitor and with my daughters( age )I have decided to wait to she is a adult.
Chris - 26-Mar-19 @ 5:48 AM
My son is 7 months old, I was seeing him an hour and week until a month ago as police were involved no charges were made as my ex was harrassing me and causing problems in my new relationship as a result police have said I need to communicate via solicitor now. I’m not 100% the child is mine and I’m not on the birth certificate. Where do I stand legally? If I apply to court for a dna test what happens if the mum doesn’t turn up to court or refuses to do the test and says I’m not the dad. I have a feeling she will ignore all solicitor letters
Davidp - 26-Mar-19 @ 3:43 AM
Hi looking for advice on what to do about seeing my daughter even though I’m not on the birth certificate I make sure I pay child maintenance and want to be part of her life today I’ve found out that my ex has moved house after going there today and won’t tell me where she has moved to with my daughter any help would be much appreciated.
Nobby - 4-Mar-19 @ 4:55 PM
Hi ya I'm currently in a bit of a predicament meet my ex online and was together for five months and like and couples we had a good but the bad ones out weighted them we constantly argued and she did like me going out with people stopped me going to my firstchristsmas do and always seem to hate on some family andfriends and going to visiting family down. So inbetween all that found she was pregnant and during the sort time of know things end up in a row resulting in her hitting me and kicking me out of her house and and through the hole pregnancy we had heated arguments over stuff and yes I will 100% admit I didn't do much to help out due to her constantly 24/7 wanting to argue and her family getting stuff and I was starting to to be told by her that she did not wanting anything for my son no matter how much id offer and then to telling me she doesnt want no money towards anything need for him and eneded up missing most of the scans and birth and then kept my son's birth from me for nearly two to three till i requested a dna thru csa and come back it was mine we tried to be civil spent time with him last three weekends then things started to go same way and stills denies me to go on birth certificate and stopping me seeing him due to not wanting a relationship with his mum and not wanting to stay at hers over night as thinks was starting to get worse after we slept together telling me i cant do stuff with family like going holidays and some of Xmas with other family after seeing my son has to her it to much time away from him what can I do about some one please help me with some advice or push in the right direction to solve this
David24718 - 7-Dec-18 @ 8:32 PM
My baby mum stopped my contact with my daughter and plays with my head saying I can see her then I can't then I can 1 day we made up and she told me she does it bcos she's jelous of how close me and my daughter are when we are together I think its lies and I know its just same old revengful mothers so I'm on here to ask how do I get on the birth certificate and have my rights to take her out and have regualler contact and take her to see her family (myside) I have a flat but am currently unstable to run it and have food and electric ect. In it but I have family members that have a stable enviroment for me to be a dad and look after her and do parent dutys it destroys me more cos when I was young I got abused and neglected and soical services got called 10 times at least throught 8 years of my life or more and they never did anything where as now me a actual decent parent that wants to be the best ever when the baby was born soical services got involved and warned my baby mum to not give me contact and not put me on birth certificate but then closed the case but I can't get my daughter myself I need legal plans put in place I don't have a clue what to do I'm only 19 and don't have single grown daddy in my family that I know of for advice I only have two faced woman that will leave me to starve to death and will onlylook after me when they gain something they need or want like when I give them all my money from universal credit amd starve for a month and they let me stay a week b4 getting it then take it and say tht 4 my keep but iv gone way past the point I'm on here but ye
helpasap - 27-Nov-18 @ 12:20 AM
Me and my ex broke up two days after we found out we was pregnant. I tried to break up with him before we ever found out due to being controlling, accusing me of cheating and being possessive. He was horrible through my pregnancy by threatening to take me to court. He didn’t show any interest with my pregnancy either. My son is now 6 months old. The father at first was seeing him 3 times a week for a month but then stopped coming round. He’s not on the birth certificate and he hasn’t paid. He also was causing so much drama that put me into a deep depression. But now he wants to see him and start paying. Again he has threatened me with taking me to court. I don’t trust him as he does drugs and doesn’t listen to when it comes to my sons health and safety. I don’t know what to do. Do I let him start seeing his son or not after everything he’s done?
Popcical - 31-Oct-18 @ 4:53 PM
@louie.advice taking you are not my ex I have moved on many years ago .now I am troll for all these sites about this stuff because I never thought about my rights as a father when my was ex left .and now I now she withholds my daughter out of spite because I have read every god damn blog on the internet and this is what they are telling me .but in reality these blogs have been education and fun .
Lou is retiring . - 22-Oct-18 @ 11:22 AM
@chris Im not your ex I dont like a punch to the face Nor did my ex partner other childrens mothers who also have restrsing orders Move on you sound bitter at some one else
Louie - 22-Oct-18 @ 9:26 AM
I had my baby girl 4 months ago her dad cheated when i was 11 weeks pregnant he made my pregnancy hell to the point i was put in counciling so i didnt lose the baby, i had the baby and he got worse and become intimidating and abusive so i got a court order so he cant come near me, hes not on the birth certificate, but hes threatening to take me to court to gain access to my daughter but i dont want him to have her on his own as he frequently tries to commit suicide and has a criminal record or domestic violence against his other childrens mothers, can he gain access so he can have her on his own ? @chris What are the lies the criminal records or the mental health ones ?
Louie - 22-Oct-18 @ 9:20 AM
I had my baby girl 4 months ago her dad cheated when i was 11 weeks pregnant he made my pregnancy hell to the point i was put in counciling so i didnt lose the baby, i had the baby and he got worse and become intimidating and abusive so i got a court order so he cant come near me, hes not on the birth certificate, but hes threatening to take me to court to gain access to my daughter but i dont want him to have her on his own as he frequently tries to commit suicide and has a criminal record or domestic violence against his other childrens mothers, can he gain access so he can have her on his own ?
Louie - 21-Oct-18 @ 9:34 PM
My daughter is 7 years old and I have had regular contact with my daughter for the last 7 years. All of a sudden I am being denied access to my daughter. I am not on the birth certifcate. If I take my childs mother to court will I have stand a chance of getting any parental custody? I am and have been a good father figure for my daughter.
trav - 20-Oct-18 @ 11:09 AM
What responsibilities and rights does my son have with his son. His ex partner is refusing letting him see his son, he’s not named on the birth certificate and wants to but she won’t agree to amending it and he can’t get dna because she won’t let him see him. He pays her weekly for his son and as asked her to do mediation so in the event he can go down the court route, to which she’s refused. Any advice would be much appreciated.
M - 18-Oct-18 @ 4:02 PM
If dad not named on birth certificate . Can stepdad adopt
jennifer sutherland - 23-Aug-18 @ 5:12 PM
Mill - Your Question:
I'm due to have a baby boy on the 23rd December, His dad is controlling and we are no longer together. He turns up to appointments and that's about it. But he's saying I don't have a right to just move with our son. I'm also considering not putting him on the birth certificate. Can I get in trouble or fined if I do so?

Our Response:
You will not get fined or in trouble if you refuse to register the father of your child on the birth certificate. However, the father of your child will be able to apply to court, please see the link here.
SeparatedDads - 16-Aug-18 @ 2:59 PM
mug - Your Question:
Ive been in a relationship with my now ex partner for 15 year we had a daughter together at a very young age and she is now almost 14. in 2016 she had an affair with a much older man and as a result of this she fell pregnant with what I thought was mine. she lead me to believe he was mine up until December last year when I did DNA because I had dowts as he looked nothing like me or my daughter. soon as I found out I left the family home and went on a self distruct mission but now she has social serverces involved saying I was violent throughout our 15 year relationship which I most certainly was not. also my name is on neither of the birth certificates what can I do to get rights over my step son and daughter ?

Our Response:
The link here will help answer your question. If you have brought the boy up as your own then you will have rights to apply for access. If you have to apply to court, then as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 16-Aug-18 @ 2:54 PM
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