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Not to put father's name on the birth certificate?

(78 Posts)
chesterberry Sun 30-Jun-13 20:18:18

Ex-partner and I had been together just over three years when I found out I was pregnant (32 weeks along now) and living together for 6 months. We definitely were not planning on having children yet and baby was not planned but I was excited when I found out.

Unfortunately ex did not share the excitement. Initially he insisted it couldn't be his as we were using contraception (condoms) and then when he finally came around to the idea that it was he started trying to persuade me to have an abortion. Things came to a head when he came home one night having had too many drinks and started threatening me, saying he's been hoping I'd miscarry and that if I didn't have an abortion he'd get rid of it himself. He didn't actually do anything to physically hurt me and that was very out of character for him (I realise finding out he was going to be a father was putting him under a huge amount of stress) but after that things ended quickly and he moved out. He has since gone back to his home town over 300 miles away (we met at uni and had stayed in our uni area after graduating, along with lots of our friends). He has been quite clear that he wants nothing to do with me or the baby and has gone back to saying it isn't his. He's 26 (as am I) so young but not young enough to excuse this behaviour IMO.

The baby is definitely his, but even so after he left I decided I won't be putting his name on the birth certificate (I will leave it blank) as he clearly wants nothing to do with the baby and I don't think I would trust him with the baby if he were to turn around in 6 months and say he wants access. Most of my friends and family agree that after the way he has acted it is reasonable not to put his name on the birth certificate as he has been very clear that he does not want to be a father to this baby, however I have one friend in particular who feels very strongly that it would be very unreasonable of me not to put his name on the certificate as it means if he realises in years to come he has made a mistake it will be more difficult for him to gain parental rights and see his child. My feeling is that this would be a good thing - I don't really want him to turn around and demand access to my baby in the future, disrupting our lives, because it suits him after he has so definitely decided he wants nothing to do with us now and am worried he could use those access rights to make things difficult, for example were I to find a new partner.

I will always be honest to my child about who his/her dad is regardless of whether his name is on the birth certificate, I would not deny my child that right, and if when s/he is older they want to meet him I would not be against that. I have stayed in touch with his mother also and she will come down to visit her new grandchild with his sister when the baby is born, so I am not denying the baby that side of his/her family either. Is my reasoning for not putting his name on the birth certificate, largely because I don't want him to be able to turn around in 3 years time and start demanding to see his child just because he's heard I'm with a new partner (for example), purely selfish? Am I being unreasonable? People's thoughts or own experiences would be very welcomed. Thanks.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 30-Jun-13 20:21:34

You're not married. You can't put his name on the birth cert unless he registers the birth with you.

And I guess that won't be happening.

HairyGrotter Sun 30-Jun-13 20:22:31


Also, the father has to be present when registering the birth in order to be put on the certificate, unless you're married I believe.

My DD's father wanted nothing to do with us when he found out I was pregnant, he's not on her certificate and we've never heard from him again...quite nice haha

RaisingChaotic Sun 30-Jun-13 20:22:46

Legally you can't put his name on the bc unless you're either married or he's there with you.

RaisingChaotic Sun 30-Jun-13 20:23:22

x posts

Meglet Sun 30-Jun-13 20:25:59

yanbu. I would leave it off. Be honest with your DC about what happened (in child appropriate terms) and keep in touch with his family. He's swanned off and left you to it so personally I don't think he should be given any formal acknowledgement the way things stand. Make sure you use your surname too <<bitter experience>>.

If a miracle happens and he bucks his ideas up, has regular contact with his DC and is no longer abusive then you could consider putting his name on the birth certificate at some point in the future.

Meglet Sun 30-Jun-13 20:27:06

oh, I forgot that bit where he has to be with you anyway. So leave it off.

MrsHuxtable Sun 30-Jun-13 20:29:09

Can the OP get child maintenance without the certificate?

Justforlaughs Sun 30-Jun-13 20:30:14

I wish that I could have put my DS's fathers name on the birth certificate. Personally I think it is nice for your DC to be able to say that that is his father, whether he has any contact or not. however, you probably will not be able to, I was also in a position where my ex wasn't interested and wasn't with me when I registered the birth - decision made for me (and I suspect that you will be in the same boat). I would however, encourage you to offer him that chance, however much you may feel it is "easier" not to. If he did actually get to the point of registering your DC's birth with you, he may rethink his position on being interested in your DC's life and whatever you think of him, that would be a good thing.

Lioninthesun Sun 30-Jun-13 20:30:46

He can still demand to see his child though. Agree you can't do it without him there at the Registrar's anyway so no point worrying if you are doing the right thing;he has decided that bit.
You can still claim via CSA and even that has nothing to do with contact.
Basically, it is and always will be his right to see his kid, no matter how awkward for you. Any judge will back him up on that. It can be frustrating to feel unsettled (same situ here, as in the fear of ex turning up out of the blue) but really the child has a right to see their dad, even if he isn't a particularly great one or has been absent for their entire life.

chesterberry Sun 30-Jun-13 20:31:57

Oh! I can't believe I didn't realise that. Well that makes it an easy decision then as I'm fairly certain that he isn't going to want to come with me to register the birth. That makes me feel much better as now I won't have to feel guilt for leaving him off, or explain myself to others.

Thanks mumsnet!

Lioninthesun Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:03

Yes, MrsH you can still get maintenance without his name on BC. He may ask for a DNA test though.

Justforlaughs Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:05

MrsHuxtable you can apply for child mainentance without his name being on the birth certificate, but it may take longer if he denies being the father. If he does register his name on teh certificate then he has acknowledged his financial responsiblity - OP my DS has never had a penny!

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:33

Morally I think you should just mention to him that if he wants his name on the certificate he will have to come with you, those are the rules.

After what you have said it is very unlikely he will agree. In which case it is entirely his fault and you can't be blamed in the future.

And at least you can hold your head up high if he starts blarting in a few years or if your child asks why there is no fathers name on their bc.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 30-Jun-13 20:35:00

X-posted with a few there! Problem solved op grin

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 30-Jun-13 20:36:01

csa do not require the father to be named on a cert or to have PR to collect maintainance, so yes she can.


He's not interested why chase him,should he change his mind years down the line it should be hard for him. You don't get to walk in and out of your child's life when ever the fancy takes you your friend is an idiot.

Lioninthesun Sun 30-Jun-13 20:36:40

OP if you are going to claim maintenance do it as soon as the baby is born - CSA won't back date and if he wants a DNA proof test then it may be delayed by a few weeks anyway.
As I said, just because he pays maintenance doesn't make any difference re contact; he can still turn up regardless of whether he pays or not. You may or may not want to save some £ for your DC this way (you can put it in a separate account if it makes you uncomfortable). Personally I feel there is no harm in it, as it is for your DC, not you.

MrsHuxtable Sun 30-Jun-13 20:38:24

If the certificate makes no difference to maintenance and the father can still get access to the child anyway, I think I would leave it up to him whether the name is on the bc or not.

The only reason I'm saying this is because DH doesn't have his dad's name on his bc and at various points in life he's been upset about it. He says it makes him feel like there's a piece missing of his identity. It came up when we got married and you have to produce you BC, then when you have children etc. Then his dad died and DH wasn't acknowledged etc. There's always this blank that most other people don't have.

On the other side, I can see why you feel your ex shouldn't be on the bc. It's not like he's done anything so far to deserve it.

Lioninthesun Sun 30-Jun-13 20:40:34

My dad wasn't on mine and my parents were married. David Cameron didn't turn up for his child's either! I think it is more common now that it was years ago and doesn't mean much either way to most people. I knew who my dad was. Most dads are busy working anyway.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 30-Jun-13 20:42:02

Why morally should she tell him?

A quick google will tell him he can get a court order for PR should he wish to try. He's made his feelings known.

Automatic PR if he does not change his mind ( and is often done by twats to cause issues) can create all manor of problems for the op in the future just because he bothered to show up for a appointment that he expressed no desire or interest in.

A unmarried mother in the absence of a court order has the legal and moral right to not name if she chooses not to.

MissStrawberry Sun 30-Jun-13 20:45:48

Rightly or wrongly I have always felt ashamed that my father's name isn't on the birth certificate even though I know who he is.

OP I wish you luck with your pregnancy and enjoy your lovely new baby when he/she arrives smile.

Lioninthesun Sun 30-Jun-13 20:46:19

If he is anything like my ex he won't even have looked into it. I told ex the Registrar date 2 weeks in advance and he still tried to say in Court that I had deliberately gone without him so his name wouldn't be on it hmm when in reality he simply didn't show, which in hindsight was a blessing. So to be fair he probably wouldn't turn up anyway.

apostropheuse Sun 30-Jun-13 20:46:33

David Cameron didn't have to turn up to have his name on the child's birth certificate as he is married to the child's mother, lionsmum.

If you're married the mother can put the father's name on the certificate. If you're not married she can't.

ajandjjmum Sun 30-Jun-13 20:47:55

It wasn't David Cameron, it was Ed Milliband who didn't turn up. As they weren't married at the time, his name could not go on the birth certificate.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 30-Jun-13 20:49:23

I didn't mean morally as in she would be a bad person if she didn't.

From what op has said this twunt will almost certainly refuse to attend.

I was just thinking that if she offered she would have the moral highground if her ex decides to go all bleeding hearts on her later and tells all and sundry that she is a nasty so and so who purposely didn't tell him the date and so he had no choice to be on there.

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