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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 22 Feb 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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[Add a Comment]
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
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?
an - 14-Dec-16 @ 4:41 AM
allie - Your Question:
My boyfriend broke up with me and im 8 months pregnant. He wants nothing to do with my doctor appointments and only want to know about when he is born. He will not be on the birth record as well my son will have my name, I am scared his going to try to take my baby away from me. If he where to take me to court is there anything I need to be worried about?

Our Response:
Your ex cannot take your child away from you if he is not registered in the birth certificate and therefore does not have parental responsibility. He may wish to apply for contact/access and/or parental responsibility of your/his child. If you don't agree then he may attempt to pursue this either by suggesting mediation and if you refuse, applying to court.
SeparatedDads - 9-Dec-16 @ 1:46 PM
Daz - Your Question:
My ex won't let me see my daughter birth certificate and now I have found out that she put someone else name on it what can I do She has even said that im not the dad but then says I am please help me

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a paternity test in order to help resolve this situation, please see link here. If you are found to be the father, you can apply for Parental Responsibility which will give you some rights to your child. You can also apply for contact via a C100 form.
SeparatedDads - 5-Dec-16 @ 2:40 PM
My ex won't let me see my daughter birth certificate and now I have found out that she put someone else name on it what can I do She has even said that im not the dad but then says I am please help me
Daz - 5-Dec-16 @ 11:37 AM
Gable - Your Question:
Hi, my ex has threatened to start court proceedings for contact and parental responsibility of my 9month old son, I don't want him to have contact as he is a drug user and dealer, as well as an emotional abuser. He is not on the birth certificate and has never paid any maintenance or ever supported my son financially, what would likely happen if he takes me to court?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict what may happen, much depends whether Cafcass gets involved, please see link here. If granted contact, it is unlikely he would be granted unsupervised contact at first.
SeparatedDads - 2-Dec-16 @ 11:06 AM
My boyfriend broke up with me and im 8 months pregnant. He wants nothing to do with my doctor appointments and only want to know about when he is born.He will not be on the birth record as well my son will have my name, i am scared his going to try to take my baby away from me. If he where to take me to court is there anything i need to be worried about?
allie - 2-Dec-16 @ 2:36 AM
Hi, my ex has threatened to start court proceedings for contact and parental responsibility of my 9month old son, I don't want him to have contact as he is a drug user and dealer, as well as an emotional abuser. He is not on the birth certificate and has never paid any maintenance or ever supported my son financially, what would likely happen if he takes me to court?
Gable - 1-Dec-16 @ 3:49 PM
foz - Your Question:
Hello I recently become a dad but my ex partner ran off to spain and had my daughter in spain what rights do I have as im not on the birth certificate but I have had a DNA test to prove shes mine and she currently in the uk

Our Response:
If you are not registered on the birth certificate, you currently have no rights. If your ex does not wish you to have rights to your child, then you would have to apply for Parental Responsibility through the courts, please see link here . You could also apply for a C100 contact order for access to your child.
SeparatedDads - 30-Nov-16 @ 12:52 PM
Brit - Your Question:
I have a question? Not sure who to ask but my ex just came out of jail for reaidental burgerly. My son is 12 months old, now he wants to be in his life but all he does is threaten me and disrespect me in front of my kids. He is not on the birth certificate nor does he have his last name and I am married to somone else. Can he do anything to take my son from me or try to get custody rights. If I don't agree for him to be in his life, I dont want him to have nothing to do with him, he is a bad man. My husband has been taking care of him since he was born. I just want to know is there anything he can do?

Our Response:
Your ex has no rights to your son, and would not be awarded custody, neither would he be allowed to take your son without your authority, please see link: What Happens If My Ex Keeps the Children Without My Consent? here.
SeparatedDads - 30-Nov-16 @ 12:08 PM
hello i recently become a dad but my ex partner ran off to spain and had my daughter in spain what rights do i have as im not on the birth certificate but i have had a DNA test to prove shes mine and she currently in the uk
foz - 29-Nov-16 @ 10:01 PM
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