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Should I name father on baby's birth certificate?

(33 Posts)
MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 11:42:08

Hi, hope this is the right thread for this topic.

I am due to give birth any day.
Separated from partner of 6 years (2 months ago).

In a recent phone conversation he asked not to be named on the birth certificate (conspiracy theory/New World Order reasons(!)) and would rather baby doesn't have one at all.

I would like baby to have a birth cert so will go ahead and register the birth, but just wondering on the legality of putting his name on without his consent or leaving it off as he requests.

Firstly, wondering whether to give the baby his surname or mine makes any difference to his legal rights/responsibilities as I am unsure which way to go with that?

Secondly, does anyone know what the implications of him being named or not on the actual certificate? Saw an old thread where someone said if dad isn't named then makes claiming child support impossible without DNA testing, but others said this wasn't true. Does anyone actually know for sure? Have found very little online to answer these issues.


MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 11:47:29

Ah, just found this on govt site:

*Unmarried parents

The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if they do one of the following:

sign the birth register together
one parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth
one parent goes to register the birth with a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the father parental responsibility

The mother can choose to register the birth on her own if she isn’t married to the child’s father. The father’s details won’t be included on the birth certificate.*

That seems to be saying that unless he comes with me (he won't) or signs something to say he's the dad (ditto) his name won't be on there.

That answers one of my points, but not what implications that will have.

GinAndSonic Sat 23-Aug-14 11:53:27

He wont have automatic parental responsibility, but you will still be able to get child maintenence. As far as i know you legally MUST register the birth. Without a birth certificate your child wont legally exist, you wont be able to het a passport, or claim child benefit or anything. Give baby your surname.

finallydelurking Sat 23-Aug-14 11:53:30

Hi op

If you're not married I believe you can't put him on the birth certificate without his permission. This means be won't have parental responsibility unless he later goes to court to get it. Without parental responsibility he can't choose schools, liaise with schools without your permission or sign for medical treatment, apply for passports etc. It doesn't stop you claiming support via csa.

He sounds unstable, sorry you're having to deal with this.

finallydelurking Sat 23-Aug-14 11:55:38

Don't think whose surname baby has, has any legal implications. In these circumstances I would probably go with yours though.

scaevola Sat 23-Aug-14 12:07:02

Has he decided he's a Freeman on the Land?

It means he will not automatically have parental responsibility (but could apply for it later).

It does not mean that he is exempt from paying child maintenance. But if he is a "Freeman" you might find that getting him to see that is both complicated and tiresome.

If he repudiates the child (in attempt to avoid CM) then a court can order a DNA test to establish paternity.

In your shoes, I'd use your own surname. The choice of name makes no difference whatsoever to legal obligations.

MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 12:12:43

Thanks for your replies everyone.

I've done some more research and found out a bit more (will post incase anyone else in the same position finds this thread on a search):

CSA will ask him to take DNA test if he's not on the birth cert (which he won't be unless he has a change of mind (unlikely!) as I can't legally do it without his permission).

Several forums say they can "make" him take one, but short of restraining him and physically swabbing him, I'm not sure how they would do that!

If he gets a court order requiring one he will just ignore it.

BUT I have found that if a man refuses to take the test they consider this an admission that he is in fact the father and will pursue for maintenance.

Then gets into the tricky grounds of non-payment, no fixed abode, no job etc, but that's another matter!

Am thinking worst case scenario here, just to be prepared. Best case, we sort things out, get back together and he gets a job to support his family, but atm worst case is looking more likely!

Yes, "unstable" is a word that could be used to describe him, which is the reason he's not with us right now.

Re surnames, if he's likely to go awol and deny paternity I guess me giving the child his surname will make no difference as it's not proof of anything. Gov website says once a child is over 2 their surname on the register can be changed, so it's not a be all and end all situation. If things resolved between us and we ended up back together sometime in the future baby's name could be changed and he could be added (if we both wanted).

MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 12:18:31

Just seen your post scaevola - you got it in one - it's the whole Freeman vs Strawman scenario! He has friends who live like this (and have never registered any of their children) and will be supporting him in his view that once you register your child, you effectively sign them over to the state.

The fact that everything I find says it is against the law not to register your child's birth, therefore means nothing to him, as he doesn't consent to being governed by that law! (if there was a rolling eyes smiley, I would put one in at this point!)

MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 12:24:46

Thanks so much for the Freeman link btw, am just reading through it in more detail. Is word for word what he tells me! Except of course in this document it says their Freeman claims never hold up in court, whereas he says if you give them the spiel the judge will walk out once they realise you "know your rights" and they are breaking their oath and acting illegally themselves (or somesuch weirdness that I've never been tempted to put to the test myself!)

I really don't have a problem with living within the law (governmental or natural!)

finallydelurking Sat 23-Aug-14 12:26:10

Is he also suggesting you don't give birth in a hospital/without a midwife present? Once the baby's been born it will be 'in the system' and you will be chased to register the birth.

How does he earn a living? I assume with his beliefs he lives 'off the grid' so would be difficult for csa to make an order on his wages?

Once again sorry you are having to deal with this and hope you have some RL support.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 23-Aug-14 12:29:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 12:42:17

He hasn't challenged my decision to give birth in hospital as my daughter (from previous 10 year marriage) was a difficult birth and I needed intervention, so he does have that basic understanding that should there be a problem with this birth it would be best to be in a place where I can get medical help.

However, his friends are due their 4th child and have never had midwife/scan/medical intervention and did it all at home themselves, with a doula present, so he would have been happy for me to do the same.

I love the idea of doula and natural birth, but knowing my body and previous experience, I'd rather be on the safe side (with midwife and gas and air to hand!)

He did have a job (temporarily) as a cleaner (part time) when he lived here and we were lucky enough to have enough to live on with my (also part time) wages too.

However, after we had a row/incident (long story, extensive separate thread!) he said he was leaving me (then didn't go!) so I asked him to leave due to his behaviour. He now lives in a tent on squatted farmland, with other people who are "living off the land", with no job, no benefits (doesn't want to be back in the "system") and calls me roughly every week to see if I have recovered from my "mental illness" (?!) and am ready to let him come home (whilst still blaming me for the entire situation).

MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 12:49:19

Yes, AlpacaMyBags. Currently a CSA claim will be pointless due to him having zero income. Just thinking ahead the next 18 years of baby's life.

Though he shares the views of the people he currently shares the land with, secretly he'd rather be living in a nice house and have a decent income (though doesn't seem to have the capacity to hold down a job for long before his odd views/behaviour spill out and suddenly budgets have to be cut and they can't afford to keep him on- hmmm!)

Reading back what I've written in my last couple of posts really hits home what a difficult, complicated person he is and that given that it's based on his strongly entrenched beliefs, the rest of our lives will continue that way. I've just lived with it so long I've got used to it as one of his "quirks". Seeing it in black and white really brings it home!

Owllady Sat 23-Aug-14 12:54:46

Omg he sounds awful !

Solasum Sat 23-Aug-14 13:00:13

It sounds like you need to make a complete break and fresh start to me. Register the birth, call the baby what you want, do not attempt to get him to come and register the birth with you, and use your surname.

finallydelurking Sat 23-Aug-14 13:05:06

He needs to accept that you having a hospital birth is going to result in the baby having a birth certificate. If you're not married his choice if he's on that certificate or not.

It's good that he does realise that your medical needs do trump his alternative beliefs.

At this stage not looking like csa are going to be able to force any payments as I believe their usual method would be an attachment of earnings.

Your best course of action is probably to go to CAB and find out what you and your children are entitled to and make plans for the future on that basis. I assume he doesn't have an assets?

Do you have family/friends to help? Do you have contact with his family, what do they think of this situation?

Does he want any involvement in his child's life?

Please don't answer any questions you don't want to.

Itsfab Sat 23-Aug-14 13:14:07

What do you want to do?

Firstly you have to register the baby and he is stupid to think you don't.

You aren't married so he has no rights. He would have to go with you if you wanted him on the birth certificate but you can still give the baby his surname without him there, just not register him as baby's father, if things are the same as in 1972.

I was given my father's surname and really hated that he wasn't on the certificate. I would nearly always say put the father on for the baby's sake but expect most others to have a blue fit about that.

I am not sure if my mother's surname and no mention of my father at all would be better.

I have no relationship with either parent and never will.

MavisDavis99 Sat 23-Aug-14 13:47:00

Sorry to hear your situation was unhappy Itsfab.

I originally thought I would give baby his surname, as it's traditional and what we would have done if still living together. But, if he's not going to be around it leaves me with 2 children who have different surnames to me (I reverted to maiden name after divorcing my husband and there was a new Mrs - on the scene) and seems a bit pointless, especially if dad goes awol, baby will just have a name and no-one to connect it to. If I am the sole parent on the scene then I guess it makes sense to give him my name.


He's not going to fight me on baby having a birth cert (am not going to budge on that one anyway, since I have no problem with complying with the law and last thing I need with a new baby is to have to engage in some sort of legal struggle to assert his beliefs which I don't agree with anyway)

He has no assets, the house is in my name.

I have family close by and a good friend further away who visits.

His family know he's a bit of an oddball, but when it comes down to it they love him and would like us to get back together because we have loved each other and have this child on the way etc etc, so because I'm the one saying he can't came back (without some serious changes in place!) and him saying he wants to (but without any changes on his part) I think I'm the one looking like I'm causing the problems in this situation as far as they're concerned. They have a "if you love each other you can work it out" attitude and think we've had a tiff rather than realising his whole outlook on life makes things very difficult. On reasonable terms with family so far and have pleasant phone conversations with them, but the topic of me and him is now avoided.

Re involvement in baby's life, I'm getting the ultimatums - let him come home and be a supportive partner and father (he thinks he was, I think he wasn't!) which is what he wants, or he says he'll have no involvement with baby at all, claiming it will be too painful for him and he'll go travelling instead/move to a different part of the country. My suggestion that he get housing/work nearby so he can see baby, be a father and attend counselling with me to see if there's a way we can sort things out and find a way to live together or at least find a way to move forward constructively as separated parents was ignored.

OwlCapone Sat 23-Aug-14 13:52:51

Register your baby with your surname and ignore him. It sounds like you are all better off without him!

Itsfab Sun 24-Aug-14 19:43:09

Painful my arse hmm, unless it is painful to see his ex not doing as he says and him being unable to control you.

LetticeKnollys Sun 24-Aug-14 19:53:13

I think that it's practical for a baby to have its resident parent's (your) surname so that you can avoid having to prove who you are or correct people all the time. You won't be treated as a potential trafficker when trying to take him out of the country on holiday, for example.

Yama Sun 24-Aug-14 19:54:46

Please give the baby your name. You can only be sure that you yourself will be your child's parent. You can't count on him. Think about it from your child's perspective.

finallydelurking Sun 24-Aug-14 20:00:43

Hi again op

It really would be best if you register the baby in just your name and give them your surname. If it any point in the future he decides to grow up and rejoin civilisation he can be given PR/give baby his surname at that point (once he's demonstrated by behaviour for a looong time he's improved)

Don't give into emotional blackmail, if he wants to be a father he'll come and visit his baby.

Take care of yourself

tribpot Sun 24-Aug-14 20:13:04

He sounds like a complete fruitloop. Sack him off and do what you want.

I like the Wikipedia link - shame the Queen was unavailable to act as a witness in some of these court cases, although the temptation for her to say "orf with his head" may have been too great for Her Maj to bear.

HermioneWeasley Sun 24-Aug-14 20:20:08

Gosh, I can't imagine why he's your ex, he sounds amazing.

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