To not re-register the births of my children after getting married?

(72 Posts)
TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 07:27:11

DP and I have been together nearly 10 years, and are getting married in a couple of weeks.

We have 2 DC, and aren't in the least bit bothered about not being married when they were born.

It seems we're supposed to re-register the DC after getting married to make them 'children of the marriage' or some such guff about legitimacy.

AIBU to not bother - I find it a bit offensive that we're expected to re-write history, as if being born out of wedlock is still something to be ashamed of.

Also, would anything happen if we didn't?

Rowgtfc72 Mon 01-Jul-13 07:35:16

We were in the same position last year. You don't have to legally re-register your children. We chose to as I liked the idea of her being a child of our marriage. Though I was a bit put out when I realised they were trying to call her illegitimate !

DuffyMoon Mon 01-Jul-13 07:35:36

we didnt and nothing has happened so far...YANBU

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 01-Jul-13 07:37:09


We haven't either, for the same reasons. My parents didn't re register me & it's made zero difference to my life...

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 07:37:31

Row the way the registrar spoke about it suggested it was a legal requirement, can't remember her exact words.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Mon 01-Jul-13 07:39:50

I know what you mean, it's made it sound like we would have to buy it is been two years and nothing happened

DuffyMoon Mon 01-Jul-13 07:49:36

17 years here...maybe a generational thing ?

Burmobasher Mon 01-Jul-13 07:58:56

We re-registered dc1 after we married. Simply because in the eyes of the law dc2 (who was born after we were married) had more legal rights to any inheritance when we died and we wanted them to be treated equally and afford them the same legal protection.
This is what we were advised to do by the registrar.
I guess if you don't plan on having any more kids then its not such an issue? I would double check though.

gintastic Mon 01-Jul-13 08:01:51

I reregistered my older 2 otherwise they would have had different inheritance rights to my youngest, as we married in between having no2 and no3... It may not matter now but if either of you go on to marry and have more children, it could affect them.

Do you both have wills? Do you plan to have more children?

tinierclanger Mon 01-Jul-13 08:06:34

I thought you had to? Although I forgot totally so it was 2 years before we re registered DS. For some reason I found it amusingly archaic rather than offensive. smile

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Mon 01-Jul-13 08:06:52

OP I only recently discovered this when I registered dc3s birth.
But I suppose, traditionally, being a boy, he'd be the only true heir to the estate anyway.
Pah, what estate. grin


OnTheNingNangNong Mon 01-Jul-13 08:08:15

I need to do this, it's about equal inheritance and not being classed as illegitimate in the eyes of the law.

perplexedpirate Mon 01-Jul-13 08:08:34

Never bothered here. 1DS, no more planned.
Mind you, I haven't got round to adding DH's name to most things and we've been married 4 years.
Fuss about nothing if you ask me.

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 08:13:25

I don't think it does affect inheritance anymore, we havewills anyway.

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 08:13:52

We might have 1 more dc!

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 01-Jul-13 08:14:36

Why does the inheritance thing matter if you have wills? DP & I both have mirrored wills leaving our estate equally to our children. Does illegitimacy override last will & testament?

DoctorRobert Mon 01-Jul-13 08:15:15

yabu if you have any more children, as they would be entitled to inheritance, not the existing children.

ProfYaffle Mon 01-Jul-13 08:16:33

The registrar told us it made no difference legally but that someone who knew what they were looking at would know from the Birth certificate that we weren't married when we had dd1. She said so long as we weren't bothered about that there was no real need to re-register.

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 01-Jul-13 08:17:22

Look here under the children bit.* Family Law Act 1987 gave illegitimate & legitimate children the same right to inherit.*

BinkyBinkleBinkster Mon 01-Jul-13 08:17:39

It is archaic and ridiculous.

It feels like you're trying to hide the fact they were born out of marriage. Which is hard if they show in all the photos as bridesmaids.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 01-Jul-13 08:17:58

Never knew you had to do this, is it the same in Scotland? Been together 12 yrs with 3 DCs and planning to get married next year.

CatInWellies Mon 01-Jul-13 08:19:09

We were told "you should do it, but most people don't bother" by the registrar. We are going to.

We did it. I thought we had to. Pee'd me off no end. Just as attitudes to dh and I having her before getting married did (mainly my friends I guess).

MrsPennyapple Mon 01-Jul-13 08:28:55

We have only just got married so haven't done it yet but we plan to, for inheritance reasons as mentioned above. We live in the Isle of Man though and some of the laws are not quite the same here. Otherwise we wouldn't bother.

scaevola Mon 01-Jul-13 08:30:32

It's archaic, but it is still the law.

ThisWayForCrazy Mon 01-Jul-13 08:32:44

It's not the law!

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 01-Jul-13 08:33:55

scaevola it's not the law!

Indith Mon 01-Jul-13 08:41:39

We have not done ds1. Why would he need another birth certificate stating that we are married? It distorts fact, we were not married when he was born, why would I want to pretend that we were?

It makes sod all difference to inheritance and even if it did we have wills.

badbride Mon 01-Jul-13 08:49:02

Tiredy: it's certainly worth getting some legal advice about this, especially as the act of getting married automatically invalidates your existing wills.

Perhaps have a chat to your solicitor when he/she redrafts your will? I am not a lawyer, but I have a feeling that there are some old legitimacy laws kicking about still that affect the ability of legitimised vs non-legitimised DCs to inherit property. I suspect (though don't know for sure) that you getting married will fix that, but I have no idea what the implications of not re-registering would be.

scaevola Mon 01-Jul-13 08:53:21

It is the law - section 14(2) of the births and Deaths Registration Act 1953.

oo we reregistered dd1 but havent redone wills. Does it really invalidate wills? God getting married is an arse.

ImNotBloody14 Mon 01-Jul-13 08:57:36

Ive never heard of this before!!

It seems a bit silly. Everyone will know when your child was born and they will know what date you got married so what exactly does reregistering do? It cant alter those dates so its never going to look like the child was 'of the marriage'

badbride Mon 01-Jul-13 09:04:33

pomme If I understand correctly, it usually does, unless the will specifically mentions that it has been drawn up with a forthcoming marriage in view, see: .

I would definitely seek advice on the legal consequences of not re-registering DCs, just in case my will was challenged and and "legitimate" family members ended up having a stronger claim on my assets.

This depends, of course, on where you live. The above info applies to England and Wales, no idea what happens in Scotland.

Usual caveats of I Am Not A Lawyer and Do Your Own Research apply to all of the above, of course grin

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 13:39:27

Oh bum, invalid wills?

Is that the whole will or just inheritance bits?

When we went the registrar said it had to do with applying for a baby passport. If you filled in the form to say married and then sent off a birth cert where you weren't married the application would be rejected until you reregister. Not sure if its true but she was very insistent.

Indith Mon 01-Jul-13 13:59:35

We've never had a problem with passports. But then we got ds1's before we got married. With the others I still had maiden name on my passport and stuff so we just sent our marriage certificate along with the birth certificates so there was a full, legal paper trail and it was all fine.

DarkWinter Mon 01-Jul-13 14:02:28

The WHOLE will.

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 01-Jul-13 14:03:36

Haven't had any issues getting passports, either before or after we got married (one DC born before, one DC born after).

My parents got married when I was 8 & didn't re register me, I haven't had any problems getting passports either.

Ah well, obviously she was talking crap then to get us to reregister grin

DjangoDjango Mon 01-Jul-13 14:19:22

It's about 'Parental Responsibility'.

If your children were born before 1st Dec 2003 your partner would have had no Parental Responsibility for your children - even if he's named on the birth certificate. Now your married that's automatic, though we were told that re-registering the children was a legal requirement for the dad to gain Parental Responsibility.

motherinferior Mon 01-Jul-13 14:23:54

Just cancel the wedding. Sorted grin

picnicbasketcase Mon 01-Jul-13 14:24:56

Oh crap, I meant to do that and forgot. I'd better ring the register office at some point.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Mon 01-Jul-13 14:25:10

mother grin

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Jul-13 14:30:37


Pr by a biological father is automatically obtained when he marries the biological mother,if you re register or not it occurs at the instant you legally marry. The re registering only provides proof of this but a marriage cert where there is no dispute about who the biological father is would do exactly the same thing.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 01-Jul-13 14:34:21

I re-registered DD after me and DH married. I was told it was to make my details on her birth certificate up to date, and make everything tally (I.E my current proof of I.D would match DD's birth cert).

I believe my nephew was refused a passport until the re-registered birth certificate was sent in as his original birth certificate did not match his mothers current details, so I guess they do have to be done if you wish to get passports.

badbride Mon 01-Jul-13 14:53:02

Tiredy I think it invalidates the whole will. So if you did nothing, your estate would be administered according to the rules of intestacy. And I have no idea what that would mean for the "legitimacy" side of things.

It all depends on how the will was worded, however, And it may be possible to fix it with a simple amendment known as a codicil (i.e. you might not have to fork out to have the whole will re-written, just for a codicil). But, this is something only an expert (ie not me) could advise you on.

I appreciate the point of view raised by several posters that they don't like the idea of history being "re-written", hence don't want to re-register. But from the point of view of the law, the act of getting married DOES re-write history, making your DCs a product of the marriage. The re-registration is simply to record the status quo as seen through the eyes of the law, and is a legal requirement.

This is understandably annoying, but perhaps you can keep the original birth certs of your DCs to reflect the true history?

scaevola Mon 01-Jul-13 15:00:49

Yes, marriage invalidates a will (unless it was specifically drawn up in anticipation of the marriage).

But an old will can be used as a (non-binding) indication of wishes for things like guardianship. And with marriage, different intestacy provision kicks in for the new spouse.

ProfYaffle Mon 01-Jul-13 15:01:26

I sent off for passports for my dds, we weren't married when dd1 was born but haven't re-registered, and we were married when dd2 was born. Had no problems at all.

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 01-Jul-13 15:05:16

littleprincess you're assuming there that the mother changes her name, aren't you? I haven't changed my name (nor did my mother) so my ID remains the same.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:08:21

I didnt know you are supposed to re register your children is this just in England and wales ? I am in scotland and i have never heard of this ? I wasnt married when i had dd1 i didnt think you had to do anything

I have never heard of this. DS1 was born two years before we got married. Could not a shit give <shrugs>

CoolStoryBro Mon 01-Jul-13 15:13:19

I still haven't reregistered DC1 and they are 16! In that time, they've had 3 passports and acquired a Green Card with no problems whatsoever.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:15:24

dd was registered in her dads name I really dont think it matters does it she was in the wedding photies anyway grin

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 15:37:45

Oh dear, so many conflicting answers.

And It doesn't sound like I can trust the registry office to give me a truthful answer!

Bit worried about the wills, but we need them updated to include ds anyway. Wonder why this isn't pointed outwhen you apply to get married?

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:39:19

the law did change though so maybe it doesnt matter depends on the age of the children

VenetiaLanyon Mon 01-Jul-13 15:42:06

perhaps the re-registration covers the situation where, even if you've made a will, some long-lost great-uncle dies and leaves money to your legitimate heirs?
<clutching at straws>

DarkWinter Mon 01-Jul-13 15:42:41

"Bit worried about the wills, but we need them updated to include ds anyway. Wonder why this isn't pointed outwhen you apply to get married?"

Because a will isn't a legal requirement for getting married. You DO have to change your will whenever your life circumstances change. Marriage makes a lot of changes to your life, when you think about it, it changes your next of kin, and LOTS of things. Changing your will when you get married is purely logical when you think about it.

TigerSwallowTail Mon 01-Jul-13 15:43:26

Yanbu, it's up to you. Dp and I are getting married next year so will be re-registering our DD so we can change her name, she has my surname at the moment but will change to dp's surname with me when we marry. If we change it when we re-register we won't have to pay. The registrar didn't mention anything about this to us though, it was me that asked.

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 15:44:43

I'm not worried about inheritance, as both dc are bastards at the moment grin

We have stuff about guardians - what would happen?

Perhaps I need to post in legal matters too ...

TigerSwallowTail Mon 01-Jul-13 15:47:31

mrsjay I'm in Scotland too, you can re-register but I've never been told I had to re-register.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:49:31

I never knew anything about it DD is a grown up now and this is the first time i heard about re registering,

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:50:04

We have stuff about guardians - what would happen?

you can appoint gaurdians un married or not

TiredyCustards Mon 01-Jul-13 16:08:02

Yes but if the will's invalid ...?

badbride Mon 01-Jul-13 16:12:20

Well, all you naughty people who haven't re-registered your DCs, prepare to have your wrists slapped. According to my cursory Internet survey of the Legitimacy Act 1976, you risk being convicted and fined the terrifying sum of.....£2.

Relevant para pasted below, courtesy of this website:

"Re-registration of birth of legitimated person.(1)It shall be the duty of the parents of a legitimated person or, in cases where re-registration can be effected on information furnished by one parent and one of the parents is dead, of the surviving parent to furnish to the Registrar General information with a view to obtaining the re-registration of the birth of that person within 3 months after the date of the marriage by virtue of which he was legitimated.

(2)The failure of the parents or either of them to furnish information as required by subjection (1) above in respect of any legitimated person shall not affect the legitimation of that person.

(3)This section does not apply in relation to a person who was legitimated otherwise than by virtue of the subsequent marriage of his parents.

(4)Any parent who fails to give information as required by this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £2.

sarahtigh Mon 01-Jul-13 16:13:38

any current will, will be invalid the moment you marry, though it can be looked for for guidance on how you wished things

when it comes to inheritance it may not be your money bacause as you say you can cover that with a new will, but it would not cover anyone else's will that may leave money to your children; say your grannies money or great uncle fred, that only legitimate children get a share,

legitimacy still matters in some cases like titles when even marrying later will not do you must be married at time of birth, William and kates child would not be in line to the throne if they were not married even if they married later,

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 01-Jul-13 16:24:54

Obviously it is slightly different if you don't change your surname Arabella in that it is not immediately obvious of your married status. But if they were to do a paper trail things wouldn't totally match up would they? You are registered as married, but your childs birth cert says you are not married.
I think badbride explained it better than I can.
But from what I understood from the registrar things would be easier for us if we re-registered DD, and for the 30 minutes and £3.50 it took I was willing to avoid any potential issues.

It is obviously up to the individual as to what they choose to do, but I know for my BIL he had to go through more stress having to rush re-registering to ensure he could get the passport. Had he done it to start with it would have been a lot less stressful.

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 03-Jul-13 12:04:09

I have read the act. As has my solicitor. He has advised that it is not necessary to re register our children, unless requested to do so by the Registrar General, which has not happened.

Also, if your will is written to cover a presumed marriage and more children it may not need to be rewritten. Ours were written in this way and so are still valid and cover all children and any more we may have.

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 03-Jul-13 12:05:09

And both our children have been issued with passports after our marriage. There was no issue.

Jestrin Wed 03-Jul-13 12:27:12

I have never heard of having to re-register my DC before and have not had any problems getting passports etc for them.

What does it have to do with passport? DD1's passport was pre marriage. We re-registered her but passport stayed the same. She always had dh's surname though.

Must go and read our will <writes it on hand>.

jayho Thu 04-Jul-13 10:55:02

I got married at the same time as registering ds's birth. Total faff, had to register him, get married and then re-register him.

As I had previously been divorced, when re-registering him the registrar asked me to swear he was the child of my second marriage (which was approx 10 mins old) and not my first.

Put a bit of a dampner on the proceedings......

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