Because a birth certificate is a historical document, the UK law states that the biological father must be recorded on every birth certificate as a matter of public record. Therefore, changes can only be made in limited and specific circumstances. Although it is possible to remove a father from a birth certificate, it can only be done if the father is not the biological or natural parent of the child. It therefore follows that it is not possible to remove a father who is biologically related, no matter how strained a relationship or where they have had little or no contact with a child during its life.
How can I remove my child’s non-biological father from their birth certificate?
Removing a father’s name from a child’s birth certificate is possible if you incorrectly registered the wrong father. The law allows you to apply for a correction if the information previously given is incorrect. This can be for a variety of reasons but also applies to someone who later turns out not to be a child’s natural father. However, you would be required to prove this. Examples of evidence include:
- A DNA test record from an approved testing company
- A court order confirming the person named is not the natural father
- Evidence confirming the name of the actual biological father
- Any other evidence confirming the registered father could not have been the child’s natural father
The application for removal must be made in the prescribed manner to the General Register Office. Only the following individuals can apply to have a birth certificate changed:
- Child’s mother
- Child’s biological father
- The man named on the certificate as the father
At least one of the above must sign the application form and provide contact details for the mother, the biological father if they underwent a DNA test, and the man named on the birth certificate. The mother will need to prove, in one of the ways set out above, that the man named on the certificate is not the child’s biological parent.
How long does it take to remove a name from the birth certificate?
There is no set time for how long it should take to remove someone from a birth certificate, but if all the documents are prepared correctly and the necessary evidence is provided, it can be as quick as 25 days to receive a response.
After the change has been approved and verified, you will be required to send a form and the correct fee to the registration office where the birth certificate was created. The original information will always show in the register, and the correction will be added as a margin to the ledger. The new birth certificate will have the same note in the margin and display the original information. Short birth certificates will only include the child’s details and will simply show the corrected details, whereas the full certificate will show the correction.
Do I need a court order to remove a name from a birth certificate?
If you know the name of the child’s natural father and this has been confirmed with an approved DNA test, then you are not required to apply to court for permission to remove the registered person’s name. However, if you are not in contact with the person named on the birth certificate or do not have details of the biological father, then you would need to make an application and obtain an order stating the person named is incorrect.
What are the implications of removing a name from the birth certificate?
After the recorded father’s name is removed from the birth certificate, they will no longer have parental responsibility for the child, and will no longer be responsible for paying child maintenance.
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