Would you like to be on Mumsnet's research panel? We're especially keen for parents-to-be and new parents to join. You can sign up here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive on offer for your views.

Birth plan for my illegitimate baby :)

(55 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

Charingcrossbun Mon 27-Jan-14 19:00:24

Just had a thought: I'm going to write a birth plan (even though I realise these things can't be planned). It just occurred to me though as we're not married do I need to put something about DP being the dad, my next of kin and having the right to make decisions should it all go wrong & I not be able to (worst case scenario I know). Am I being silly? I don't suppose husbands are asked to bring marriage certificates along but just thought I'd check. grin

Chocpudding Fri 31-Jan-14 08:50:23

As a midwife I am very aware of the lack of parental responsibility the father has immediately after the birth. I would be very cautious about seeking legal advice if a tragic situation occurred.

While personally I have happily co-habited for a decade, i recently got married to ensure my husbands rights post birth (if we are blessed with children). Good for you for looking into your options op. This is such an important issue that many people are not aware of. Congratulations!

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Thu 30-Jan-14 22:48:55

Shellywelly, I hope your Ex spends a very lonely old age regretting his nasty little choices. What a horrible man. It's safe to say, sad though it is, that your DC are much better off without him in their lives.

Blondebrunette1 Thu 30-Jan-14 22:21:21

Very insightful thread I had no idea of the complications my then partner/now husband would've faced should I have died when giving birth to our children prior to our marriage. I am glad I didn't know as i'd have been worrying and having to take alternative action.

As for the sub-debate on the OPs title, it's a little unnecessary to make such a fuss over the use of a word that was not written with any unkind intentions. I think reporting it and making an issue of it is only drawing attention to the term you want to eradicate and it was used in a very light hearted way. It's also socially irrelevant today, as being born to unmarried parents means nothing to the vast majority of us so I think most people wouldn't even consider the term 'illegitimate' to be offensive, hence why the OP thought nothing of using it in the title. There's PC & then there's OTT.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 30-Jan-14 19:13:51

As a midwife it wouldn't make any difference to me whether or not you're married. I don't believe anyone whether married or a partner can make decisions on someone else's behalf. So he couldn't make decisions on your behalf.

I have known mums be unconscious in ICU and the (unmarried) dad was left holding the baby. The case I'm thinking of he took the baby home while mum was still in ICU and it would never cross anyone's mind that he couldn't. I suppose technically as there isn't yet a birth certificate he had no parental responsibility but I think health care professional's use common sense. He was allowed to give consent for stuff like Vit K and which brand of formula.

Charingcrossbun Thu 30-Jan-14 19:03:41

Ooo how exciting! Direct contact from Mum's net goddesses on high!!
Really wasn't trying to cause offence to anyone and would be happy to change it but I don't know how!
grin

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-Jan-14 14:31:31

Hello Charingcrossbun

Sorry to butt in on your thread. We've had a couple of reports from people about the use of 'illegitimate' in your thread title. We don't have a problem with it at all (we think it's pretty clear you're using it in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way), but as one or two other posters are getting upset about it, we thought we'd ask you whether you'd like us to change it.

If you'd rather keep it as-is, that's fine of course.

Very best of luck with the birth

MNHQ

Jeanniejampots80 Wed 29-Jan-14 13:05:23

Janepurdy yes it is way behind here in legal rights for fathers. Not sure why as no one as far as I know has any issue with it being like it is in England but Dads here are still fighting for the situation to change and hopefully it will soon.

flatmum Wed 29-Jan-14 10:33:33

see here www.rbkc.gov.uk/pdf/FPI%20is%20it%20legal%20Feb_08.pdf

The law sets out who has parental responsibility. You have it automatically if you are:
l The biological mother of the child
l The biological father of the child, and were married to the mother at the
time of conception or birth, or you married the mother after the birth of the child or, for babies born since 2003, you registered the birth of the baby with the mother
l You are adoptive parents once an adoption order is made.

Even if the marriage breaks down, both father and mother will continue to have parental responsibility. Unmarried fathers did not have the same rights and responsibilities as a married father. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 now gives an unmarried father parental responsibility where he and the mother register the birth of their child together.

Even if the unmarried father’s name is not on the original birth certificate, you can now re-register the birth at a later date, adding the father’s details. This will give the father parental responsibility.
See www.gro.gov.uk.

But the Act is not retrospective, so unmarried fathers with children born before 1 December 2003 can still only get a parental responsibility agreement, either by:

l Making an agreement with the mother
l Or by applying to the court for a parental responsibility order.

Unmarried couples wishing to obtain a parental responsibility
agreement have to:
l Obtain a form from a solicitor or family court
l Go in person to the local magistrates court or County Court to get it signed
l Send it to the Principal Registry of the Family Division.
You should note also that an unmarried father who has not got parental
responsibility will have to apply for a court order to obtain the right, if the mother dies.

flatmum Wed 29-Jan-14 10:25:26

In England, since December 2003, if the Father is named on the birth certificate, he gets automatic parental responsibility, same as the mother, irrespective of their marriage status.

Between birth and registration the unmarried father wouldn't have parental responsibility.

I don't know how any of this effects inheritance, if at all - and would be sorted definitively by a will anyway.

JanePurdy Wed 29-Jan-14 06:45:46

jenniejampots that sounds like here in the 80s, my mum took my dad to court so that he had parental responsibility, but he was already on the birth certificate.

Jeanniejampots80 Tue 28-Jan-14 23:00:08

flatmum I am in Ireland and we ask them do they have the right legally to sign the consent forms in a very polite way.

I am almost positive here the birth cert means nothing. Both the parents have to sign a "statutory declaration" before the dad gets rights. If the mum refuses he has to go to court.

JanePurdy Tue 28-Jan-14 22:07:27

That's what I'm referring to Expectans but BasilandLime seems to be saying otherwise. I would like Basil's point to be true as I think it is an outdated & offensive rule!

The only person apparently taking offense here is you.

Expectans Tue 28-Jan-14 21:54:08

When registering my baby a few weeks ago, the registrar said that if we married in the future we should reregister the birth as the children of married parents are treated differently under UK law. Is this true?

BasilandLime Tue 28-Jan-14 21:51:28

Nonsense NL, you normally talk sense but that argument is flawed. Not "over reacting" to something offensive and out dated is not commendable. I shall not provide comparisons because it will all kick off royally and that's not what I want.

No it sends a message that they don't over-react and have sensitivity to context and content.

BasilandLime Tue 28-Jan-14 21:48:29

Jane Purdy, if a child's father's name is on the birth cert and the child is born after 1st December 2003, then the parents' marital status doesn't affect the child.

In fact, (directed by EU regulations) Ireland took the significant step of removing the term "Ilegitimate" from the constitution. it's an invalid piece of terminology now. A child can inherit from an unmarried father, a child can inherit from an UN named father! (if dna test is court ordered)

BasilandLime Tue 28-Jan-14 21:45:32

I disagree very strongly. This thread is being seen by a lot of people and mumsnet have just left the term there. That sends a message that it is acceptable.

Of course it doesn't 'risk normalising' it. hmm It's a single thread title using the phrase ironically and with humour to attract attention to the Op's query.

JanePurdy Tue 28-Jan-14 18:03:39

BasilandLime I've seen on MN that people have been advised by solicitors they need to re register children born before their marriage so they have the same inheritance rights as children born during the marriage, are you saying that is no longer the case?

BasilandLime Tue 28-Jan-14 17:57:57

I disagree NL, I think it risks normalising a word that has (rightly) fallen out of usage.

BasilandLime Tue 28-Jan-14 17:56:56

Shellywelly1973, that beggars belief, he won't even give his children his name , wow... You're better off without him even though four children won't be easy. I hope the first three are old enough to be some help!

I'm really glad I read this, I'll have to talk to DP about sorting out wills before the baby comes.

flatmum Tue 28-Jan-14 16:19:26

Lots of unmarried dads have legal rights - they just need to be named on the birth certificate, post 2003.

So I hope you ask that, rather than if they are married.

Incidentally my DP has never been asked, in 10 years.

Jeanniejampots80 Tue 28-Jan-14 16:15:51

Just to point out that the case in Ireland was extra exceptional as the medical care required was to withdraw care and let the baby unfortunately die. So there was no time for the courts and the father and grandmother and hospital did not wish to prolong the baby's treatment/suffering by waiting for the long way around for the father to get his official rights which he would obv have been given baring any unsuitable circumstances etc.

I work in a job that regularly requires a legal document and most in married dads are well aware that they have no legal rights re the kids. We always have to ask if they are married. It's ridiculous but true.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now