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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.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Jul-13 19:20:39


I'm pretty sure it makes no difference at all unless she's going to attempt to claim he's not the dad.

But it may be worth a quick call to somewhere like rights of women (free legal advice line) to double check but last time I checked it didn't make a jot of difference.

Also if he goes to court to do so he has to have the get up and go to be bothered firstly to get legal advice then to stress about it do the paperwork if he self represents or reconsult if he doesn't. Then theres costs as legal aid for family law no longer exists ( unless you are a victim of provable domestic abuse or SS are trying to remove children)

So your talking a few grand and a fair bit of time. Most blokes who do the whole walking away from pregnant gf saying they want nothing to do with the baby wouldn't bother beyond a half arsed call to cab (where they will be told legal aid no longer exists and that its not a slam dunk certainty) and it will even take them about 6 weeks just to get through to the cab as the lines are manic so they give up.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 03-Jul-13 10:48:18

Do yourself a huge favour and don't tell him anything until your baby is born and registered. Definitely give the baby your own last name - don't hand away all your rights to someone who will use them to control you.

And be careful of his mum - she may well be lovely, but in the end, he is her son and when push comes to shove, she will put him above you. She is being supportive, not only because she is ashamed of his behaviour, but also because she knows you hold all the power here. The only person who doesn't seem to know that is you.

I honestly also think you should lose the 'friend' who seems overly preoccupied with your ex's 'rights.' Harsh as it is, sometimes people do have to pick sides - this person is not on yours.

Remember, your baby is relying on you 100% to do the right thing by them - that includes not saddling them with a loser of a father who can scupper your plans when you genuinely have the best interests of your child in mind. He doesn't and you need to protect your baby from him, to some extent.

ninani Wed 03-Jul-13 10:30:15

If OP claims CSA won't it make it easier for her ex to claim parental rights? Knowing what he is like is it worth it? <clueless>

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 03-Jul-13 08:10:34

You do know that if he shows up to the appointment your causing yourself lots of drama if you then decide he shouldn't be named on it don't you?

You have no obligation moral or otherwise to let him know about the appointment if he asks you don't have to tell him nor do you have to agree with him.

If he wishes to be named and you feel there are valid reasons why he shouldn't be its his obligation to resolve it,if he cannot obtain your agreement then its down to him to go to court and argue his case with a judge. And no matter what he says his behaviour gives you valid reasons.

I wouldn't tell him nor would I talk about it to his mother

Morloth Wed 03-Jul-13 07:47:35

Don't give him anything.

He threatened you with violence and the baby with death. So fuck him frankly.

Just have your baby, give the baby your name. He can do whatever he feels necessary, let him do the leg work.

If you feel the need for maintenance then by all means apply, but I think in the circumstances you describe I would just ditch him.

Your baby can know who he is and it sounds like they can have some sort of relationship with their grandmother on that side.

If down the line he decides he wants to be involved then let him jump through all the hoops.

You have no obligation to him whatsoever, only to your child and in this case you can meet that obligation by telling them who their bio-father is.

Being a parent means responsibilities not rights.

pumpkinsweetie Wed 03-Jul-13 07:31:16

Don't give any information out to him. He doesn't deserve to even know where you are let alone have his child named after him!

Keep the date, time, place & surname choice to yourself. He gave up his rights long ago.

poshfrock Wed 03-Jul-13 07:30:29

I agree with everything that has been said so far but I would just add one more comment which you may wish to consider.
I am a probate lawyer and currently dealing with a case at work where a man has died without a will. His sole beneficiary is his very young daughter but he is not named on the birth certificate as her father. If his surviving family decide to challenge her parentage then she could lose everything that she stands to inherit(house, cash etc). The only way to prove he was her father is a DNA test, which is a bit difficult as he has been cremated.

I know this is probably not a massive consideration for you but I thought I would just make you aware.

Inertia Wed 03-Jul-13 06:57:02

You don't have to tell him when and where you intend to register the birth even if he asks. Given his threats of violence towards you and thr baby, you should really strongly consider contacting him through official channels only.

In your shoes I would definitely give the baby whichever names you like. Ex lost naming rights the day he threatened to kill the baby. You really need to stop considering how you might accommodate Ex's wishes and put the baby and you first

chickenliversfortea Tue 02-Jul-13 20:48:07

You can't assume anything about the future. My ex went from insisting on an abortion to complete denial that he had fathered a child.

In the end that was made me involve the CSA. I wasn't prepared for the twat to get out of fatherhood by pretending he didn't know he had a child. I was also fed up of the assumption that I was lying. We did a DNA and he pays a tiny amount and still isn't interested. And this way we all know the truth and where we stand and the lack of interest from him and his family is now on his shoulders.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Tue 02-Jul-13 20:48:03

I'd have to say, it will all be a lot easier in so many ways if he doesn't come along. And I don't think he has earned the right to.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Tue 02-Jul-13 20:46:03

You can choose whatever name you want to give the child as a surname. Just do not agree to using his name. Remember, if there was some miraculous reunion later on and you then wanted the child to have his name, you could change it or double-barrel. However, if you give the child his name, I think you'd need his permission to change it later - so I really wouldn't put yourself in that position.

Given that you're not married, he can't register the birth himself. It would have to be either only you, as the bio mother, or both of you. So if he did come but then kicked off about the name you are holding all the cards. Either he agrees to it, or he leaves and you register the baby by yourself and with your name.

chesterberry Tue 02-Jul-13 20:45:35

Oh, I didn't realise I could give a made up name! Not that I would, but interesting to know.

I am a bit worried that if he comes he will assume that I will be giving the baby his surname and will kick off so probably a good idea to tell him the baby's full name (including my surname) before he comes. To be honest I think he may have larger objections to the first name names I have in mind as I doubt they are names he would have agreed on, but I guess that's tough and choosing the name is a privilege he gave up when he walked out. I am still hoping he won't come though and am beginning to lean towards not telling him the time and date I am registering unless he specifically asks to try and avoid that situation.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 02-Jul-13 20:31:06

You have to tell the registrar the baby's full name and that is your choice up to the exact time that he puts his name down he has no legal right to do anything so before that point its your choice.

If you want you can give the baby what ever surname you wish even if it is a made up one you just have to tell the registrar what name you want.

But if he does come with you and you have no prior agreement about the surname then expect him to kick off at you. Controlling types tend to get quite arsey about the surname

chesterberry Tue 02-Jul-13 20:19:29

Thank you to everybody who has given me advice. I just have another question about registering the baby, if you don't mind. Lots of people have said not to give baby my ex-partner's surname and I am just wondering how the surname works when I register the birth.

If my ex-partner comes with me to register the birth will the baby automatically be given his surname? Or when I register the baby's name does that include the surname? Will it be easy to give the baby my surname, even if my ex-partner does come with me to register the birth?

I definitely do not want my baby to have his surname, even if he does a complete turn-around between now and the birth and decides to start being a father I know that it might not last and I don't want to have my baby stuck with the surname of a man s/he doesn't know in five years time, so am just wondering what I have to do to make sure s/he has my surname. Thanks in advance smile

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Jul-13 14:14:00

She was born early 2003 so i'm not sure whether gov changes came in by then, would it cost money ?

Did you marry him? Or make a separate PR agreement or have it court ordered?

If the answer to these are no then he does not have PR the changes came into force in December 2003 not before.

bochead Mon 01-Jul-13 07:57:44

I look upon parental responsibility as a grave duty and one that should only be bestowed on those who are willing to put the child first at all times. In this case your ex has done a runner and left you (and therefore your bubba) totally unsupported.

My ex left when I was 7 month pregnant. His name is not on the birth certificate and the child has MY surname. At the time I was devastated and to be honest worried massively about the social stigma etc and how it would impact my child throughout his life. However nearly 9 years on the benefits have become obvious.

Given the threats of violence I would have a chat with Women's Aid about the legalities of it all. Sadly abuse all too often starts in pregnancy/babyhood or just after the wedding. It's a pattern they recognise. You need to know how to protect this child as a matter of urgency. Currently this baby is at risk from his/her own father. You need to assimilate, process and act on that fact.

His actions aren't currently showing that he's gonna step up to the plate and co-parent with you in any capacity. If you are unmarried the law allows you to add the father's name (& so give him legal rights) any time up until that child is 18. Therefore IF he subsequently sees the light and becomes Daddy of the year the option will be there to honor his active care and participation in raising his child by adding his name at that point. He'll have to visit the registry office tho - the law insists he does the legwork wink.

pumpkinsweetie Mon 01-Jul-13 07:31:06

She was born early 2003 so i'm not sure whether gov changes came in by then, would it cost money ?

MissStrawberry Mon 01-Jul-13 07:23:21

pumpkinsweetie - change your DDs name! It is so sad to hear it upsets her.

MissStrawberry Mon 01-Jul-13 07:18:50

Maintenance and access are separate issues. He should pay maintenance but he isn't buying time with his child, he is supporting him/her financially as he should. Access is completely separate.

IMO you should tell him he has to show up if he wants his name on the certificate and you should claim maintenance from him.

He might have been a shit boyfriend but it doesn't mean he won't change and be an excellent father.

Lweji Mon 01-Jul-13 06:38:14

On the other hand, some women faced with pregnancy chose abortion.
Men cannot control whether to have the baby or not.

So, I don't think men who do not want a baby when it happens accidentally are worse than women choosing to have abortions.

(this one is a twat because he made threats to try to get an abortion, though - for that reason alone, he should not have his name on the birth certificate)

Lweji Mon 01-Jul-13 06:31:49

Keep in mind that he should be chasing you for his parental rights. You should not be chasing him.
If he's interested, he'd ('ll) contact you regarding the birth register, as well as other aspects of the pregnancy and the baby.

pumpkinsweetie Mon 01-Jul-13 06:23:29

& what Not says, go for your surname, a man that puts no input in shouldn't have their surname imposed on that child. I regret giving my pfb her fathers surname, he hasn't made no imput or seen her since she was 7m, she is now 10yo and his family don't see her either, so i have a child with a surname that bares no meaningsad and fwiw my dd hates having a surname different from me, her sisters and all the family she knows!

dayshiftdoris Mon 01-Jul-13 00:59:01

Oh and you sound much more together than I was - good luck with baby. Enjoy every second smile

dayshiftdoris Mon 01-Jul-13 00:57:48

I was in that same dilemma 9 years ago smile

After much heart ache & consideration (and other people's opinions!) - I didn't ask him to the registration.
I was still unsure and then the Registrar mentioned the Statutory Declaration which has been in place since the war do that soldiers could 'legitimise' the birth after coming home smile
A weight lifted - not putting him on was an option I could go back on to change in the future whereas putting him on wasn't.

He's still not on it, probably never will be

Oh and he pays CSA regardless.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 30-Jun-13 23:59:56

"One of our mutual friends has hypothesised that finding out I was pregnant almost sent him into a kind of state of grieving for the future we had planned and that is why his response has been anger, denial and trying to change things back to how they were with talk of abortion etc. Maybe that is true and I do kind of feel sorry for him, but I wish he had been able to welcome the baby as an opportunity for a different kind of future rather than an end to his plans."
I think your friend is being too kind here sad. I'd be more inclines to see your ex as the fair-weather type. Able to be a nice person when everything is going well, but as soon as things get a little bumpy, he bails. Still, every cloud has a silver lining - better to have found out that this is the type of person he is sooner than later. You're 26, educated, and have lots of support around you - the world is still very much your oyster smile.

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