To report this to someone? (Birth cert, parental responsibility)

(25 Posts)
Notsure1979 Fri 07-Mar-14 02:56:43

Although no idea who!

NCed for this although long time poster, Yoni, cutted up pear et al.

So backstory is that my best friends sister is a couple of years younger than me (mid thirties) and we have similar aged DSs. Both boys are 6.

The dad of her DS hasn't ever really been around- he upped and left when her DS was about six months old. He isn't named on the birth certificate.

About 18 months ago she met a new man. He is a similar age to her and immediately it was clear he was quite controlling. He asked her to start dressing differently and stop dyeing her hair so that she would "stop teasing other men". He quickly became a doting "dad" to her DS and within three or four months the boy was calling him daddy.

Her parents and sister (my best friend) had their reservations about how quickly things were moving with this new man but he seemed to make her happy so they accepted him. But then at a family party while everyone was a bit merry he and she had a big row about her "teasing" other men and this ended up with the boyfriend and her dad falling out.

Since then there has been a big family rift with none of them really talking and my best friends sister stopping her parents from seeing their grandson etc. They've not really been talking now for almost a year.

We've just found out that she is 4 months pregnant.

Then last week during a brief phone call with her sister- who she has had sporadic contact with since falling out with the family- she revealed that he had reregistered her sons birth with her boyfriend as the biological father. To be clear he hasn't adopted the son- they have gone and reregistered the birth with him as the names father of the boy. They are now apparently telling the son and other people that they "hooked up" 7 years ago and lost contact before getting back together 18 months ago and that he really is the boys dad.

This is 100% not true. Whilst I obviously wasn't at the child's conception I have known my best friends sister since she was 2 years old and she was with the boys actual dad from the the time she was 19. No way is anyone else the dad. I was also on the night out where she met the current boyfriend less than two years ago. She also told the story to my best friend as "this is what we are telling people" rather than "this is actually the truth" IYSWIM.

Best friend is in shock and hasn't told anyone except me.

I'm flabbergasted and don't know what to do. This is surely illegal? I have looked online but can't work out if it actually is. I know it's immoral for sure but feel it must actually break laws.

So what can we do? Can it be reported to anyone? Is it actually criminal? I don't feel that I can stand by and let this happen especially as he seems like a strange man and I'm concerned that his now having parental responsibility is really quite dangerous. Best friend agrees and thinks we must do something. She doesn't want to burden her mum right now and she is currently sick with ME and dealing with her own sick mother as well as being upset at the ongoing feud and about not seeing her grandson.

What should I do in this situation?

GloriousGoosebumps Fri 07-Mar-14 04:26:02

It must be illegal to put false information on an official document. Why don't you contact the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for your area and ask for advice? It's usually a Local Authority service so you should find the Registrar's details on your local authority's website. The fact that the boyfriend is so controlling that he feels the need to rewrite your friend's past history and "claim the child" but isn't willing to do so legally by adopting him is a huge red flag. Although I do wonder what he'd have to say if the relationship broke down and your friend claimed child maintenance for both children from him. I suspect he'd be pretty vocal.

FobblyWoof Fri 07-Mar-14 04:33:11

It is definitely illegal. I'm not sure what they do about false information and how the situation is treated though.

I'd report. Maybe start at the registrars and they'll know what to do

MooseBeTimeForSnow Fri 07-Mar-14 04:41:45

Perjury Act 1911, Section 4:
False statements, &c. as to births or deaths.
Annotations:
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
C9
S. 4 amended by Criminal Justice Act 1925 (c. 86), s. 28(3)

(1)If any person—

(a)wilfully makes any false answer to any question put to him by any registrar of births or deaths relating to the particulars required to be registered concerning any birth or death, or, wilfully gives to any such registrar any false information concerning any birth or death or the cause of any death; or

(b)wilfully makes any false certificate or declaration under or for the purposes of any Act relating to the registration of births or deaths, or, knowing any such certificate or declaration to be false, uses the same as true or gives or sends the same as true to any person; or

(c)wilfully makes, gives or uses any false statement or declaration as to a child born alive as having been still-born, or as to the body of a deceased person or a still-born child in any coffin, or falsely pretends that any child born alive was still-born; or

(d)makes any false statement with intent to have the same inserted in any register of births or deaths:

he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable—
(i)on conviction thereof on indictment to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment . . . F8 for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine instead of either of the said punishments; and

(ii)on summary conviction thereof, to a penalty not exceeding [F9£100].

(2)A prosecution on indictment for an offence against this section shall not be commenced more than three years after the commission of the offence.

Isetan Fri 07-Mar-14 05:00:02

As difficult as it may be to see this unfolding theres nothing you can do. They have already concocted a story that could be difficult to disprove. Reporting this could just make thinks worse and the sporadic contact that she currently has with her sister, could turn into no contact.

kickassangel Fri 07-Mar-14 05:16:29

And it sounds like a really neat way to make her have to stay with him as trying to break free and tell the truth could result in her being prosecuted.

He sounds really nasty an dangerous. I think that top priority should be letting her know that she will always have her sister to go to if she needs to make a swift exit.

Chottie Fri 07-Mar-14 05:33:39

Surely, all that is needed is a paternity test? I'm not sure whether the court could demand one though. Would CAB be able to advise?

I sense a feeling of unease through your whole post. Please stay in touch with her so she has someone when things unravel.

SavoyCabbage Fri 07-Mar-14 05:35:01

I would do something as he sounds untrustworthy. One of my friends who is in an abusive relationship tried to leave her husband and he told her that if he did he would report her for growing cannibas in the house. Which of course is him. She is so under her control that she thinks she will loose her dc as she has broken the law.

YANBU but I think if you do this it might further alienate her from her sister and she wi become even more isolated. Especially as she is pregnant with his actual biological child.

I don't know what I'd do in your shoes. It must be illegal and I'd be tempted to report BUT it's not going to stop the relationship or his controlling nature. Do you think she wants out of the relationship?

JessePinkmansMom Fri 07-Mar-14 06:04:18

I'm surprised to hear you can change the info on a BC. Perhaps there should be a law that if you don't register the father on the BC within one year then you cannot do it without a paternity test.

To be honest though there must be literally thousands and thousands of people who have the wrong father named on their BCs - the difference being that the father isn't aware he's not the real father either.

bochead Fri 07-Mar-14 06:57:33

I'd get the family to notify her GP of what's happened. That will ensure that her pregnancy HCP's keep an eye on the situation in a subtle way that doesn't raise the man's hackles. (HV's and midwives are trained to do this).

Sadly DV stats show pregnancy/newborn to be a really dangerous time for women & there are red flags going on all over this. It worries me a LOT that he is isolating her from her family as this is classic abusive behavior.

I'd also call social services Child protection team, and that suprises me as normally I despise them. However they cannot protect kids if they don't KNOW they are at risk. In fact I can't think of another time on MN I've suggested this.

Notsure1979 Fri 07-Mar-14 11:28:35

Thanks to all for advice so far. Bumping for the day crowd.

I'm glad people broadly don't think I'm overreacting to this. I have been really shocked but didn't know if I was just being naive or this was a "normal" thing to happen.

Bochead I'm interested in your reaction. Why do you think that she and her DS are at risk? I do too but I'm finding it hard to pin down a "reason" to give SS.

CwtchesAndCuddles Fri 07-Mar-14 11:40:01

My instinct is also that social services should be involved as a child protection matter. He has obtained parental responsibility of a child by deception, and he sounds like a very controlling man, she is becoming more dependent on him and alienated from her family and friends.

The long term future safety of the child could be an issue here, please report what you know.

Spilledtea Fri 07-Mar-14 11:46:37

They are lying to the wee boy, which would be my primary concern. I would report to SS.

Meepers Fri 07-Mar-14 11:48:29

It is illegal technically and you could report it buy I know from a friend (very different situation) that getting a court ordered DNA is unlikely to happen. Without one it is impossible to prove they are lying.

Do you not think by reporting you may risk alienating the woman even further from her family as she will suspect her sister...

Spilledtea Fri 07-Mar-14 11:51:55

I'd get the family to notify her GP of what's happened. That will ensure that her pregnancy HCP's keep an eye on the situation in a subtle way that doesn't raise the man's hackles. (HV's and midwives are trained to do this).

^^
That sounds like a sensible thing to do.

But definitely also report to SS. The boy will grow up with a horrible lie about who his father is. If this man is controlling and abusive it would be akin to child abuse to let the boy believe that this controlling man is his biological father.

Please report.

NomNomDePlum Fri 07-Mar-14 11:58:53

report. why is he not open to becoming the boy's parent by a legal route? too much scrutiny? seriously, this sounds really wrong to me.

meditrina Fri 07-Mar-14 12:06:51

It's an offence and the obvious course of action is to report it.

For as I see it, this isn't going to end well. Obtaining PR by deception, and leading a small boy to think that this man is is biological father is really shitty. And, given that the biological father does not have PR and has been off the scene for years, this ought to be a straightforward case for adoption if they want to identify as a new family.

Methe Fri 07-Mar-14 12:13:05

Is this man English? I can am just wondering if he would try to abduct then child (or be able to threaten to) .

Seems weird not to adopt him by the normal channels.

Optimist1 Fri 07-Mar-14 12:27:33

What a horrible dilemma for you, OP. The circumstances reminded me of a thread that was on MN a little while ago about the man who insisted on telling his colleagues that his partner's daughter was his biological child. If I remember correctly this was a scenario where his culture meant that his partner would be regarded as "used goods" if she had been in a relationship before him. Is that a possibility in this case?

Personally, I think I'd talk to her parents about it and put the ball in their court.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 07-Mar-14 12:40:28

We come across this a lot it's a rather frequent abusive mans method of attempting to isolate and exert more legal control over a parent.

What we do when a client discloses it either has happened or is about to,is contact the GRO with a name Dob and place of registration (or likely place) and they remove the information or prevent it happening without evidence.

I've not known any mothers in this situation be prosecuted

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 07-Mar-14 12:41:53

It does sound like she's either in a DV situation already or he's fast tracking grooming her for one.

bochead Fri 07-Mar-14 12:51:46

He's gaining as much legal control over a child that is not his as the mother has by deception. He'll be able to dictate school choice, medical matters, religious affiliation, whether the kid can leave the country etc, etc. He could even apply for full residency and control over the child if she ever tries to leave him. His name on the birth cert gives him full parental responsibility.

If he really wants to be the boys father there are perfectly legal routes to do this - he's chosen not to utilise any of them. WHY?

He's demonstrated clearly that he has NO qualms about lying to the authorities - when it concerns the welfare of a child, this is VERY dodgy in any circumstances.

He's shown he has no respect for the law or authority - classic sociopathic behavior.

He's gone out of his way to isolate her from those who would/could protect her by rowing with her Dad - classic move for abusive men is to isolate their victims.

The reason I suggested her family informing her GP is that it's hard for even a proven liar & clever clogs to refuse her access to a midwife or HV. In addition they have the formal training to assess what's really going on and the professional clout to be taken seriously by the police or SS if things do get dicey.

This man is potentially a LOT more dangerous than the classic "drunken thug" as he is very smart. He needs to be outsmarted and quickly given that there are two vulnerable kids (his expectant one and her existing child) and an increasingly isolated pregnant women being neatly orchestrated into being completely under his control.

blackfeathers Fri 07-Mar-14 13:02:07

Should this woman ever try to separate from him, she will be vulnerable to lengthy court proceedings and ongoing going contact with this man as he will be legally regarded as having Parental Responsibility for this child. I would bet my bottom dollar, as someone who works in this field, that this is exactly why he's done it. It is all about power and control and is a form of domestic abuse in itself.

This child is likely to be emotionally (and perhaps even physically) harmed growing up with such a domineering man. Please report to social services, they will also be interested in this from an identity point of view. This child has a right to know who he is.

NigellasDealer Fri 07-Mar-14 13:05:00

I would normally say leave people to it, but in this case i would be looking for someone to report it to ASAP, for her own future wellbeing and that of her child, as other posters have said.
he sounds really controlling and potentially dangerous.
how dare they even think of doing that to a child!

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