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birth certificate how important is it that the father is named

(39 Posts)
lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 11:23:34

i need to register my son's birth but not sure if the father will come with me and whether i need to persuade him to do this?
what implications are there for having him on the birth certificate and not?
I've looked on various websites and rang parentline (who weren't very helpful) .

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 11:26:36

i think it will make it more difficult for the father to apply for parental responsibility if his name is not on the certificate, should he ever wish to.

implications for DS... my mother did not put a fathers name on my sisters birth certificate and when she first saw it and saw "father unknown" on it, she was absolutely devastated. she is still upset about it now.

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 11:28:47

ooh sorry that second bit sounded a bit judgemental. i didnt mean it to sound like that, you obviously have to do whatever you feel is right. sorry.

Hecate Thu 31-Jul-08 11:34:09

Well, I guess it would be harder to get maintenance off him, would it?

I don't think they have parental responsibility if they aren't named (unless they go to court) - I THINK, but I may be wrong, I'm no expert on these matters.

Can you name him if he's not there, if you aren't married? I know you couldn't at one time but I don't know if that's changed.

I guess it depends how involved you want him to be - I mean, he could go to court if he was really motivated, so not being named wouldn't be the end of all things. If he's not named and not interested though, he probably wouldn't bother.

Have you tried the CAB? They tend to know everything about everything! grin

mankymummy Thu 31-Jul-08 11:36:05

or try ringing the registry office and ask the registrar...?

Hecate Thu 31-Jul-08 11:37:30

<slaps hand to forehead> duh

Of course! Phone reg office!

<puts on dunces cap and sits in corner>

stitch Thu 31-Jul-08 11:38:12

as a child, i would hate to have that section of my birth certificate empty.

gillybean2 Thu 31-Jul-08 18:36:24

You can't put him on if he's not there and you're not married unless he completes a special form (which has to be witnessed) and you take that with you. Otherwise people would be putting anyone they felt like down as a father and the men wouldn't have a clue! Enough loonies out there stalking celebrities etc without giving the the means to name men as fathers without any say in it!

Not being on the certificate makes no difference to maintenance. Explaining that to him might just make him change his mind. The CSA will ask you who the father is, you tell them, they contact him. If he denies it then he has to agree to a panternity test to determine fatherhood.

Being on the certificate might make a real difference to your child's feelings of who they are and where they come from. I felt this was important and ensured me ds's father was on his certificate and got his family on side who convinced him to do it for the child's sake.

Being on the certificate has implications for him too. It means he automatically gets PR. However he can still apply to court for this at a later date even if he's not on the certificate. He can also apply to be entered on the certificate if you haven't included him and he wanted to be.

PR basically means that he is recognised as a parent with responsibilities to his child. It doesn't give him any rights, but it does give him responsibilities to ensure the welfare of his child and he is then able to get details of school, medical records and have a say in important decisions. Your child has a right to a relationship with both parents. Your ex has a responsibilty to his child which he may or may not accept.

One other point that someone mentioned in a previous thread on this topic. If you have a new relationship in the future and you and your new partner want your new partner to adopt your child this is very much harder with a father named on the certificate as he has to agree to it.

Your child's birth certificate is a legal document that will be with them through life. IMO it's very important to include both parents on it and for a child to know from the outset that they have two parents who both acknowledge them as their child.

If you ex is reluctant I would speak with his mother and see if you can persuade her to discuss it with him. If he won't/can't go to the registry office with you get one of the forms he needs to complete sent to you and make sure the registra knows you are waiting for this as they won't keep reminding you to come in if they know you are waiting on the bit of paper.

best wishes

lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:34:27

thanks for your replies
i knew about the maintenance etc

the father wants no contact with his son ( i've left the door open on that point and always will ) but i asked him for the details to put on the certificate which he gave me but i've now realised he has to be there which i think he will need persuading to do.

So that's why i'm unsure as i don't want to have to ring him but if it's the right thing to do for my son then i will ask. gillybean how did you persuade your ex?

I do feel sorry for my son having father unknown on the certificate (is that what they put or do they leave it blank ?)
The point about adoption is interesting ! who knows what the future holds?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 31-Jul-08 22:44:32

ah i had a meeting with a solicitor about this before dd1 was born. i wanted her father on her bc he wasnt interested.

fist of all if he does go on the birth certificate he will have rights. he will have the right to stop you leaving the country with his child, even if its just for a holiday and he will have the right to complain about who you are living with, should you meet anyone. he will have the power to make your life evry difficult of he wants to.

secondly you can get a court order to ensure that he is there, if he denies paternity he will have to take a dna test and once proved positive he will be put n the certificate. you have up to year to add the fathers name if you want to.

thirdly yes they do put father unkown but that part only shows on the full certificate. you can get a short version that only has the mothers name.

and last of please dont be judgemental about people who have father unknown on their dcs birth certificate as some people i.e. me are very sensatie about it. all i wanted is for my dd to have contact with her father and his his name on her bc but i decided not to go down the court order route when he made it clear he wouldnt sign as he would have made my life hell and would have had the power to do so.

RustyBear Thu 31-Jul-08 22:49:16

Apparently the govt are palnning to change the rules, but I don't think it's gone through yet.

lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:56:58

thanks shesell
how easy is it to add his name within the year?
if it's easy then i may well take that option just so i don't have to ring him tomorrow (am registering the birth on tuesday)
are you sensitive because your birth certificate or your childs certificate is father unknown?
seems like if i don't have him on then i'll have a hassle free life but i really want to do the right thing for my son not me!
how will he know that we are going on holiday?
do i need his permission each time?

starscream Thu 31-Jul-08 22:56:59

my dd fathers name is not on her bc, i feel upset now , he didnt and has never wanted to be involed with my dd left me 3mths with her!!! she is now 3

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 31-Jul-08 23:07:23

my dds says father unknown or it would if we got the full one we only got the short version so it just has my details.

you dont need his permission as in passport control would stop you if you didnt have a letter from him, but if he called the airport or the police they would stop you. yes you would need his permission each time. but its only going to matter if would be an arse like i know mine would have been.

he called ss about me while i was still pg and told me if i made him pay for the baby then he would take me to court and get full custody of her then he would stop me seeing her at all! so in my case both my life and hers would have been easier without him on it. she now views dh as her father and he is a great father to her. but if his name had been on the certificate he coould have opposed dh moving in with us.

TotalChaos Thu 31-Jul-08 23:10:38

my father's name wasn't on my birth certificate (I had the short one, so no "father unknown" on it). Couldn't give a toss about it. These days you do need to have a copy of the full birth certificate to get a child's first passport unfortunately.

lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 23:13:32

oh heck
i'm confused now !
so everytime i'm planning on going on holiday i need to get a letter from him giving his permission?
can i use the short one for most things or do i need the long one
just don't know what to do for the best

stitch Thu 31-Jul-08 23:16:36

it doesnt matter what you have. it matters what is down in the permanent records at the registry office. and when the child is an adult and needs the full certificate for whatever reason, they see the bit saying father unknown.
even if they have then gone on to have a wonderful relationship with their father, that is down as a permanent record that the father couldnt be btohered to come with the mother to claim them as their own, or to marry the mother and thus claim them.

its not about you. its about your dc.

lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 23:26:01

thanks stitch but if you read all my posts i've clearly said that i want to do the right thing for my son not me!! so your post isnt particularly helpful

stitch Thu 31-Jul-08 23:30:52

i was mainly replying to the posters who seem to think that just because they only have the short birth certificate in their posession, it doesnt matter what it says on the long one. iyswim
my reply to you was given near the beginnning of the thread

if you are going on tuesday, then call the father, and convince him to go along with you.

gillybean2 Thu 31-Jul-08 23:35:22

Shesells I think your sol was trying to scare you into a worst case scenario.

I'm really not sure where all this concern about not being allowed to go abroad comes from. Any parent with residency can take their child abroad for up to 28 days without a court order. That's sole residency or shared residency. Of course residency isn't given automatically. You may have to go to court to establish residency if a problem arose.

Being a parent gives you no rights, only responsibilities. A parent might cause problems if they want to be involved in their child's life and the parent with residency makes it difficult for them to be so and thus applies to court. But court orders look at the welfare of the child. Going on holiday is in most cases considered to be of benefit to children and encouraged.

Also your ex has no right to interfer in your life regarding new relationships unless you allow it. He might complain and think he has a right to complain (which he does in as much that anyone has the right to freedom of speech), but legally no. A court might make a ruling on this if there was clearly a danger to the child from the new relationship or ot was not in the child's welfare for some reason. But usually such things are by agreement between the parents and are not legally binding at all.

Given that the OP's ex is not interested in having a relationship with the child it is unlikely that they would persue matters through court to have the child's right to a relationship with both parents enforced. And even if they changed their mind they could still do this regardless of whether their name is on the certificate or not!

OP - How did I persuade my ex? My ex lives abroad and is a citizen of another country. I sent a letter to him enclosing the partically completed form and asking him to get the rest completed and witnessed and return it to me as soon as possible. I also told him (phone and email) how important I believed it was for his name to be on the certificate and that it is a legal document to be used throughout life and asked him how he would feel if his certificate didn't show a name for his father. I also made it clear that not being on the certificate would not alter in any way his responsibility to support our child. I appealed to his better nature saying if he did nothing else for his son he should do this one thing. I also wrote to his mother thanking her for her parcel of baby gifts and happened to mention in my letter that I had forwarded the form to her son to complete and could they remind him to get it sorted and returned as soon as possible please as there was a deadline. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to get the form back completed.

My advice, work on his parents who will probaby do most of the work for you if you really want his name on there. I don't think my ex would have without his mum's insistance.

lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 23:42:10

thanks gilly
i don't know how to get in touch with his mother - never met her.
i don't think he would interfere in our lives and i don't think he will ever want to see his son.
I was just unsure as to the importance of having his name on the bc but i do think for my son's sake it is the right thing to do.
do you know if it is easy to add on at a later date as i don't have time on my side .

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 31-Jul-08 23:43:16

i dont know i think you have to pay an admin fee to have it altered but if you ring the registary office they will tell you

gillybean2 Thu 31-Jul-08 23:47:29

If you explain the problem to the registra then you might find you have a longer time to get this completed. They rang me to remind me to come in and I explained I had sent the form to my ex and was waiting for it to be returned and would come in with it when I had it back. They said that was fine and put a note on their file not to keep reminding me until nearer the deadline. I had found out about the form before having my ds so I already had it to send once he was born. Form came back within two weeks so I didn't run out of time.

Yes it can be added at a later date, but I think the entry shows it as being added later. You'll have to ask the registra about that and if it will get recorded differently on the birth certificates issued.

Of course the birth certificate you get is a copy of the entry so you'd just get a replacement copy with the new details on when it is added. Ask t hem to confirm if it will say 'additional' or 'included later' or something like that on your copy.

lou222 Thu 31-Jul-08 23:51:39

great thanks will ring them tomorrow.
day 42 is on tuesday so i have nearly run out of time - but my son was born very early (27 weeks) which is why i am a little unprepared!!

wornoutwaitress Fri 01-Aug-08 01:02:33

i didn't put ds' dad on the birth certificate cos it meant if he wanted PR he would have to go to the trouble of going to court for it. if he did want PR i would want to make sure he had to make some sort of effort to get it to prove he was serious.

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