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

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 26 Jul 2023 | 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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I have a parental rights order in place but I don’t have my name on child’s birth certificate. For 5 years she been refusing me t have it on and in early days said I had t prove myself t have it on however 5 years pass I love my son dearly I have him on a ok basis could be better but is what is she is also fighting over it . Am I wrong for wanting it on a certificate and can a judge stop me from having it on . I have done nothing t deserve this . She has lied t me about this saying I will get it on it lied about wanting t try again and soon as certificate is mentioned she walks away and it’s never mentioned again until we basically have a fight by text . I can be awarded the name on it no problem surely
Frankiec - 26-Jul-23 @ 10:07 PM
I was in a short term relationship with my girlfriend who told me she couldn't conceive After a few months she informed me she was pregnant Prior to this I knew she had mental issues but cared for her She was abusive controlling and had mood swings We broke up At present She wouldn't put me on birth certificate Is being very difficult in allowing me to see and bond with my son Continues to control change and make it difficult to visit and see my son I cannot afford legal help I am asking for advise regards me trying to bond and have consistent visitation with my son to build a healthy relationship with him My other concern is her mental health and how that will impact on my sons development happiness and welbeing
Kieran - 30-Sep-22 @ 8:10 AM
I have had son in August but his mother don’t letting me put my name on his birth certificate and I couldn’t see him when I want to see my child . So what I should do and we’re I should go for my rights .
Nandra - 7-Dec-21 @ 11:10 AM
Hi I'm looking for some advice for my brother he had an affair with a lady for 5 years, they got pregnant and she told him she wanted him to leave his family and he and her should go and start a new life together, he didn't leave his wife and she moved, got with someone else and told him the baby was his and register they baby in the new man's name, he hasn't been able to find her but found out she had a daughter, does he have any rights as child wasnt registered in his name and he doesn't know where she lives? Any advice appreciated
Ann - 11-Aug-21 @ 2:58 PM
My ex won't let me see my 2 1-year olds I am not on the birth certificate and she never put me on because she wants to be controlling no other reason there's certainly no reason talking to her what is the best thing to do next
Peter - 13-Apr-21 @ 7:00 AM
My son is not on his sons birth certificate though he is the biological father proven by a DNA test. He's paid £200 every month since the child was born and had contact for the 1st year. There has never been a relationship between him and the baby's mother. The mother suffers from irrational behaviour and thoughts and has caused great anguish to my son, posting horrible comments about him on social media and sending hundreds of irrational and vile texts. All of which have been lodged with the police. Due to this, he had to stop the contact 6mths ago because of what she was implying. He has recently contacted her to set up mediation to try and see his son. He would like to have him 50% of the time, so I suppose that would be joint custody. But is now worried about what effect involving the police will have on his chances of seeing his son. Should he forget about involving the police and go for mediation and if this doesn't work go for a Court order. Or carry on with the police investigation and then apply for a Court order for joint custody.
grandmamiffs - 9-Feb-21 @ 4:05 PM
Hi, I am wondering I anyone can give me some advice. I have a 5 year old. Who very rarely sees her biological father. At a push she will see him once every 3 months for a weekend. Without any communication in-between. He is not on my daughter's birth certificate, he did however get a DNA test done when my daughter's was 1 year old. (Not because of an affair but because he got married and wanted out of the responsibility of our daughter) I worry about what will happen to my daughter if I was to die. At the moment I live with my mum, my daughter has an amazing bond with my family and also with my partner. I worry so much that if she was taken to live with her father she wouldn't see her family that she has been with all these years.Her biological father lives 3 hours away from us. I would like to know what his rights are if something happened to me. Would she automatically go to him? Should I write a will or is that pointless? I appreciate any advice anyone can give me Many thanks x
Rachel - 11-Jan-21 @ 1:26 PM
My question is that my son hada baby girl 3and a half weeks ago and the ba y momma has gone to ireland with the bany they have been gone 2wks now for the first week we had no idea were the were now she won't give a date wen they r coming bak is there any thing we can do the baby is nearly a month old now and I have never met my granddaughter and my son has not seen her since she was a week old
Mally - 29-Dec-20 @ 8:07 PM
All your comments and questions come down to the same thing which is who made them in charge of the birth certificate I was there when my daughter was born a two day labour but when they did the certificate they asked my partner at the time but not me so why?
Wake up!! - 29-Nov-20 @ 4:03 AM
We have the wrong father on the birth certificate we need to get a dna and get him off the certificate. He doesn't want the dna and he has taken custody by not giving him back. I had the baby for my aunt who cannot have children. He has cared for him since hour one. I need to get him back to my aunt who is actually his mother even though she is not on birth certificate.Any one in the situation or have ideas of what to do.?
Desi - 14-Nov-20 @ 3:50 PM
My son had a baby with a girl,she did not put his name on the birth cert and their relationships what there was of it fell apart, he lives in Holland and she is in the UK .He has paid maintenance years. But now she has a new man in her life she has stopped us, the grandparents from seeing our grand child. She has cut all communications and even told us our grandson has a new father now and not to send christmas or birthday presents as they will not be allowed into her house. My son has now desided after christmas his payments will go into an account for his child so he can get the money when he is older.Is this legal as he is not on the birth cert and not living in the uk?
Sue - 2-Nov-20 @ 9:33 AM
My partner ddnt wrotte my name in the birth certificate of my daugter...what action should i take
Lefa - 27-Oct-20 @ 8:32 AM
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
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