Home > Children & The Law > Registering The Birth of a Child

Registering The Birth of a Child

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 16 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Birth Registration Register Office

In England and Wales, a new baby must be registered within 42 days of its birth. This is usually carried out at your local registry office, although in some cases a mother may be able to register her baby before she leaves hospital if a registrar is present.

Why is it Important to Register The Birth of a Child?

Your child's birth needs to be registered so that they are legally recognised. After the registration, you will receive your baby's birth certificate as proof of registration, and this document will be required if you are claiming any benefits and to prove their identification. Both parents should be named on the birth certificate, if they are known.

Who Can Register The Birth?

The birth can be registered by:
  • Either the mother or father if they are married
  • The child's mother if she is not married

If one of the parents cannot attend the registration, they need to fill in a statutory declaration form and this should be handed in to the registrar.

If a Parental Responsibility agreement in place or either parent has an appropriate court order, this can be presented at the time of registration.

If the father's details are not recorded, it may be possible for these details to be registered at a later date.

What if the Parents Cannot Attend?

If neither the mother or father can attend the registration, then the following may register the birth in their place:
  • The Occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born
  • The person who was present at the birth
  • The person who is responsible for the child

What Information Do We Have To Provide?

You must provide the registrar with the following information for your baby's birth certificate:
  • The date of your child's birth
  • The place of your child's birth
  • Your baby's full name and gender
  • Name, date and place of birth and occupation of the father
  • Name, date and place of birth and occupation of the mother

Make Sure You Get it Right

Registering the birth of your child is a happy experience but, as a birth certificate is a legal document, every attempt should be made to ensure that all information and details relating to both the birth and to the birth parents is accurate at the time of registration. Make sure that all spellings, especially your child's name, are correct as these cannot be corrected.

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[Add a Comment]
Hj - Your Question:
There is no father name on my sons birth certificate reasons being his real dad carnt have nothing to do with him im just wondering could it be possiable for his step dad to be put down and change his last name or can I only change his name through deedpoll

Our Response:
You cannot put the name of anyone but the biological father on the birth certificate. If you want to change your child's surname you will need the consent of the biological father.
LawAndParents - 17-Aug-17 @ 2:23 PM
There is no father name on my sons birth certificate reasons being his real dad carnt have nothing to do with him im just wondering could it be possiable for his step dad to be put down and change his last name or can i only change his name through deedpoll
Hj - 16-Aug-17 @ 3:07 PM
Grego - Your Question:
Hi, I have been separated from my husband for 5 years but we remain married. I am currently pregnant with a new partners child. Am I able to put my new partners name on birth certificate? Do I need any consent from my husband to do so?Many thanks

Our Response:
You can put the biological father of the child on its birth certificate. You won't need consent from your (soon to be ex) husband.
LawAndParents - 31-Jul-17 @ 11:02 AM
Hi, I have been separated from my husband for 5 years but we remain married. I am currently pregnant with a new partners child. Am I able to put my new partners name on birth certificate? Do I need any consent from my husband to do so? Many thanks
Grego - 27-Jul-17 @ 11:11 AM
jazzy-jeff - Your Question:
When registering a birth do I have to state that I am married to someone else whilst waiting for a divorce to be finalised?

Our Response:
You usually have to give your name and also maiden name. If your (soon to be ex) husband is the natural father, he can apply to the courts to have the name added anyway, so it's probably worth added that regardless. If not, you will not need to include his name.
LawAndParents - 25-Jul-17 @ 11:53 AM
When registering a birth do I have to state that I am married to someone else whilst waiting for a divorce to be finalised?
jazzy-jeff - 18-Jul-17 @ 11:44 AM
I have a son aged 19 months. I am not currently on his birth certificate as I have been in prison since his birth. Is it possible for me to get my name put on there now ? If so, can you please point me in the right direction. Both myself and his mam are wanting this.
A7571CE - 7-Jul-17 @ 9:39 PM
Marc - Your Question:
Is it possible for a single/unmarried father to register the birth by himself if the mother is absent or deceased? Would this complicate things and would he be able to add the mother's details in either case? Would a statutory declaration form be required if absent but not deceased?

Our Response:
If the mother cannot attend the registry officer, she can make a statutory declaration, confirming the name of the father, which he should take with him to give to the registrar.
LawAndParents - 5-Jul-17 @ 12:24 PM
Is it possible for a single/unmarried father to register the birth by himself if the mother is absent or deceased? Would this complicate things and would he be able to add the mother's details in either case? Would a statutory declaration form be required if absent but not deceased?
Marc - 4-Jul-17 @ 9:36 PM
Slouiseknight18 - Your Question:
How would I go about registering my baby as my other could be in prison by the time baby is born just how do I get him on the birth certificate??

Our Response:
If he is in prison at the time, there is a form that he can sign in the presence of a solicitor at that time. The family rights group or General Register Office should be able to tellyou which form you need.
LawAndParents - 30-Jun-17 @ 12:31 PM
How would I go about registering my baby as my other could be in prison by the time baby is born just how do I get him on the birth certificate??
Slouiseknight18 - 29-Jun-17 @ 3:48 PM
TJ10 - Your Question:
I've been separated from my husband (not divorced) for 2 years. Married for 3 months before we seperated. I've recently had a baby with my partner. Does my husband have any legal rights to our baby?

Our Response:
No, there's no reason why he would have any rights over the baby if he is not the biological father.
LawAndParents - 29-Jun-17 @ 12:42 PM
I've been separated from my husband (not divorced) for 2 years. Married for 3 months before we seperated. I've recently had a baby with my partner. Does my husband have any legal rights to our baby?
TJ10 - 28-Jun-17 @ 2:51 PM
Newmommy2018 - Your Question:
Hi, just a general question my ex partner is not interested in anything to to with this baby, im currently 12 weeks pregnant, his sister has been there from day one and is wondering if her brother doesnt want to be put on birth certificate and she wants responsibility can she be added on instead of him?

Our Response:
No, you can only add the biological father's name to a birth certificate.
LawAndParents - 23-Jun-17 @ 2:01 PM
Hi, just a general question my ex partner is not interested in anything to to with this baby, im currently 12 weeks pregnant, his sister has been there from day one and is wondering if her brother doesnt want to be put on birth certificate and she wants responsibility can she be added on instead of him?
Newmommy2018 - 22-Jun-17 @ 10:51 AM
I just want to know if I am allowed to register my baby in another mans name if I am still legaly married to my husband and it is my husbands child?
Netta - 17-Jun-17 @ 1:14 AM
Emmatrayf - Your Question:
I am currently pregnant with my partners baby. He split from his wife 4 months ago - they are still married. What are the rules/laws on this? Do I put the child's last name as mine or my partners?

Our Response:
You can choose whichever name you like for your baby's surname. You can only put the father's name on the birth certificate with his permission though.
LawAndParents - 15-Jun-17 @ 9:43 AM
I am currently pregnant with my partners baby. He split from his wife 4 months ago - they are still married. What are the rules/laws on this? Do I put the child's last name as mine or my partners?
Emmatrayf - 12-Jun-17 @ 8:09 AM
BabyCakes - Your Question:
Hiya, my babies dad isn't currently on the birth certificate but has been granted parental responsibility from the court. In court I said I'd re-register her birth but after careful consideration I really don't want to. My daughters dad will only have care of our daughter twice a week for 8hrs each of these days. Am I within my right as our daughters mother to refuse to do this? Please help.Thanks

Our Response:
If the court ordered you to add the father's name to the birth certificate you have to do so, or you can risk a fine/imprisonment. The father has already been granted parental responsibility so you will not take this away by withholding his name from the birth certificate. If your daughter sees him 16 hours per week he will be able to build a relationship with her, would you want her birth certificate not to show her father?
LawAndParents - 25-May-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hiya, my babies dad isn't currently on the birth certificate but has been granted parental responsibility from the court. In court I said I'd re-register her birth but after careful consideration I really don't want to. My daughters dad will only have care of our daughter twice a week for 8hrs each of these days. Am I within my right as our daughters mother to refuse to do this? Please help. Thanks
BabyCakes - 24-May-17 @ 12:07 AM
Ds - Your Question:
Hello I'm in a separate to my husband more then 1 year I have give birth to baby and in the register office they inform me that as I don't know how is the dad I need to register my baby on my ex as I don't have a legal deforse and ability to register the baby only on my name whit out a DNA test to prove that my ex is not the father

Our Response:
If you've been separated more than a year, we assume your ex husband is not the father of your baby. In that case it would be illegal/fraudulent to name him on the birth certificate.
LawAndParents - 23-May-17 @ 1:53 PM
Hello I'm in a separate tomy husband more then 1 year I have give birth to baby and in the register office they inform me that as I don't know how is the dad I need to register my baby on my ex as I don't have a legal deforse and ability to register the baby only on my name whit out a DNA test to prove that my ex is not the father
Ds - 22-May-17 @ 10:17 AM
I did register 5days ago with my details and not with the fathers details. I wonna put the fathers details and change my childs second name. Can I if its not to late?
Roza - 21-May-17 @ 12:48 PM
CatHawk - Your Question:
Hi, I am unsure of who the father of my child is but am now happily married, can I legally register the baby with my husband as the father even though the paternity is in dispute with my ex boyfriend? I imagine at some point the ex will demand a DNA test, obviously if it came back that he is the biological father then he could have the birth certificate changed, that's fine but would I be in trouble legally for putting my husband's name down initially?Hope you can advise, thanks!

Our Response:
Ifyou're not sure who the father of baby is, you should not name him on the birth certificate until you absolutely positive.
LawAndParents - 17-May-17 @ 12:11 PM
newmommy2017 - Your Question:
I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant with my first child. My child's father left me but still wants contact with his child. I have never told him no as I will always make sure that as long as he wants to see his son he can. However, I have been told by family members not to put his name on the birth certificate. He has shown no interest in his sons well being since the split, asking how we are twice. He's not bought his son anything, instead he's spent all his money on girls and getting drunk (only 19 and not very mature) Should I put him on the birth certificate and give him rights or not? Personally I don't trust him to have any legal rights but at the same time I will never deny him access.

Our Response:
If you don't pu him on the birth certificate he can still apply to the courts to have it added if he chooses to. Also if his name is not on birth certificate, you will not be able to claim any maintenance support or help from him as easily. He may feel as though he wants to be more involved once the baby comes along.
LawAndParents - 17-May-17 @ 12:10 PM
Scrag - Your Question:
I had a baby when I was married and my husband was not put on the birth certificate as he didn't want to be on it but now he has told me that the law states I should've added him on the birth certificate he said I broke the law by not adding him is this true ? As I told he he has no perental rights over as he's not on it

Our Response:
You can choose not to put the father on the birth certificate if you go to register the birth alone. However, ifyou are/were married to the father, he can insist on having his name added to the certificate retrospectively and yes, he does have parental rights as you were married at the time.
LawAndParents - 16-May-17 @ 11:42 AM
Hi, I am unsure of who the father of my child is but am now happily married, can I legally register the baby with my husband as the father even though the paternity is in dispute with my ex boyfriend? I imagine at some point the ex will demand a DNA test, obviously if it came back that he is the biological father then he could have the birth certificate changed, that's fine but would I be in trouble legally for putting my husband's name down initially? Hope you can advise, thanks!
CatHawk - 16-May-17 @ 5:09 AM
I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant with my first child. My child's father left me but still wants contact with his child. I have never told him no as I will always make sure that as long as he wants to see his son he can. However, I have been told by family members not to put his name on the birth certificate. He has shown no interest in his sons well being since the split, asking how we are twice. He's not bought his son anything, instead he's spent all his money on girls and getting drunk (only 19 and not very mature) Should I put him on the birth certificate and give him rights or not? Personally I don't trust him to have any legal rights but at the same time I will never deny him access.
newmommy2017 - 16-May-17 @ 3:43 AM
I had a baby when I was married and my husband was not put on the birth certificate as he didn't want to be on it but now he has toldme that the law statesI should've added him on the birth certificate he said I broke the law by not adding him is this true ? As I told he he has no perental rights over as he's not on it
Scrag - 15-May-17 @ 10:44 AM
Hiya, i am looking for advise on birth certificates in the case of same sex couples. Myself and my partner are planning to have a baby using a private donor (we will not be doing this through a liscenced clinic due to the cost), from what we have read it is very confusing as to whether we can both be on the birth certificate when the baby is born. We are not in a civil partnership/married. Do we need to be married or will be both be able to go to register the birth together and be allowed both names on the certificate? Thank you for your help!
Charli - 14-May-17 @ 8:38 PM
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