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

Registering The Birth of a Child

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 22 Jun 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]
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
Scottybhoy - Your Question:
Is there anything I can do to stop my partner using her surname for my daughters registration of birth we are still together but not married and I would prefer my surname used

Our Response:
This is something you need to agree on between the two of you when you go to register the birth. Unfortunately you can't insist on your surname. Would the mother agree to a double barelled name? If you ever get married it would work well.
LawAndParents - 11-May-17 @ 11:03 AM
Is there anything I can do to stop my partner using her surname for my daughters registration of birth we are still together but not married and I would prefer my surname used
Scottybhoy - 8-May-17 @ 8:53 PM
Ok..thanks for the response. Can charges be pressed and how would I report it. The actions of my mother have caused a huge amount of problems for me, my dad and my biological dad. How do I seek legal advice to pursue this?
MissMac1981 - 5-May-17 @ 4:20 PM
MissMac1981 - Your Question:
I have recently found out that my mother lied about who my biological father is. It was known from when she was pregnant who the father is. On my birth certificate my dad who I grew up with is on there not my biological father. At the time she was not married. Is this illegal as the father's details are incorrect?

Our Response:
Yes, it is an offence to knowingly give details of the wrong father when registering a birth.
LawAndParents - 5-May-17 @ 2:32 PM
I have recently found out that my mother lied about who my biological father is.It was known from when she was pregnant who the father is. On my birth certificate my dad who I grew up with is on there not my biological father. At the time she was not married.... Is this illegal as the father's details are incorrect?
MissMac1981 - 5-May-17 @ 12:50 PM
My ex partner smashed up the house when I said I wasn't giving our child his surname as I wanted to our baby to have my name (we weren't married). He also threatened me saying "there will be trouble" if I didn't comply. My ex insisted on coming with me to register the birth and made the appointment. Is there any way that, as the registration occurred under duress, I can get our sons surname changed and my ex removed from the birth certificate?
Eddi - 5-May-17 @ 12:15 AM
Su - Your Question:
Hi, I am married but separated with my husband and having a baby and it's due to give birth in july with a new partner. Will I still be able to register my child with his fathers name on it while being married?

Our Response:
Whose baby is it?
LawAndParents - 4-May-17 @ 2:23 PM
Hi, I am married but separated with my husband and having a baby and it's due to give birth in july with a new partner. Will I still be able to register my child with his fathers name on it while being married?
Su - 4-May-17 @ 5:42 AM
Ant - Your Question:
I'm just looking for some advice at the moment as this week I have heard that a new law has come out were if the fathers name isn't on his babies birth certificate the mother of forced todo so and if the mother fails she can be fined £200 My baby was born in 2014 can I still try and get this sorted if so who do I contact

Our Response:
No, the 2009 Welfare Reform Act did contain a provision that required mothers to name fathers (£200 fine and seven days in prison if they didn't) but the law never came into effect. If you want your name on your child's birth certificate you can still apply to have your name added via the courts.
LawAndParents - 21-Apr-17 @ 11:47 AM
My partner of 3 years has a child with another woman and from the start she has refused to put his name on the birth certificate, and found excuses to stop him from seeing the child. he has tried over and over again to have access but nothing's worked. Is it legal for her to refuse to name him on the birth certificate?
Debs - 20-Apr-17 @ 9:16 AM
I'm just looking for some advice at the moment as this week I have heard that a new law has come out were if the fathers name isn't on his babies birth certificate the mother of forced todo so and if the mother fails she can be fined £200 My baby was born in 2014 can I still try and get this sorted if so who do I contact
Ant - 18-Apr-17 @ 4:49 PM
Chris93 - Your Question:
Hi there I'm just asking advice me and my ex broke up while she was pregnant to my son so she blocked me from having anything else to do with him she had him a month ago and didn't put me on birth certificate and now she finally let me see him she's stopped again and says she's been on to csa and they said I should be paying £50 plus fees and expenses a week which I feel is unfair cause the government site calculations where £37 per week and she is refusing further contact till I pay and says she will put my name on birth certificate when I prove to her I'm good enough which I think is unfair so I told her I'm putting money In an account what I should be paying until she puts me on birth certificate and she's refusing to go through solicitors which have already sent her 2 letters through them I paid for everything he has but I just want to do it the right way but she won't which I'm frightened if I go through that route I won't see him for months I need advice do I fold to her demands or do I go through it the proper way in court. And thanks for any advice cause I'm lost on what to do seems though fathers rights mean nothing

Our Response:
Child maintenance and contact are not related and payment disputes should not be used by a mother to prevent a child from seeing his/her father. Check with the CMS yourself to see if they've calculated correctly. If you can't agree on an amount the CMS can arrange it for you but this will incur charges. Mediation is your best option at this stage - to try and make agreements about both finance and child contact arrangements. If she refuses to attend a mediation session, apply to the courts.
LawAndParents - 18-Apr-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi there I'm just asking advice me and my ex broke up while she was pregnant to my son so she blocked me from having anything else to do with him she had him a month ago and didn't put me on birth certificate and now she finally let me see him she's stopped again and says she's been on to csa and they said I should be paying £50 plus fees and expenses a week which I feel is unfair cause the government site calculations where £37 per week and she is refusing further contact till I pay and says she will put my name on birth certificate when I prove to her I'm good enough which I think is unfair so I told her I'm putting money In an account what I should be paying until she puts me on birth certificate and she's refusing to go through solicitors which have already sent her 2 letters through them I paid for everything he has but I just want to do it the right way but she won't which I'm frightened if I go through that route I won't see him for months I need advice do I fold to her demands or do I go through it the proper way in court . And thanks for any advice cause I'm lost on what to do seems though fathers rights mean nothing
Chris93 - 15-Apr-17 @ 5:34 PM
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