Father's details

The father of my child wants to be registered as the father in the register but cannot attend the office. What can we do?

In such cases, the father's details can be added in the register at your request providing that:

  • The child's father makes a statutory declaration stating that he is the father of the child; and
  • the mother makes a declaration using Form 2 in Schedule 1 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Regulations 2011; and
  • providing details of the child's father; and
  • an appointment is made at the Civil Registry or at a registration office in order to carry out the registration

I am not married and I am unsure whether to give my child my surname or that of the father. What should I do?

This is obviously a decision only you can make although you may wish to discuss it with your partner, family or friends. From a birth registration point of view, if a non-marital child is given the father's surname and the relationship breaks down, you should be aware that the name cannot be changed on the entry in the register. However, if the child has your surname and you marry the father, you can apply to re-register the birth to legitimise the child. A new entry would then be made in the register with the child's surname reflecting your surname in marriage.

My relationship with my child's father has broken down and he is not prepared to be registered as the father. What can I do?

If you want the father's details to be included in the register, you will need to produce a copy of a Court Order which confirms the details of the father. This may be an Order made under the Children and Young Persons Act 2001. A Court Order can only be obtained as a result of going through a court process. If you are unsure of your rights or of the procedures to follow in relation to obtaining the necessary Court Order to enable you to have the father's details entered in the register, you should seek legal advice.

Registrars are not legally qualified and therefore will not be able to give you legal advice, offer any opinions on what course of action to take or comment on the contents of any documents presented to them. 

On attending to register the birth with the Court Order, you will also be required to make a statutory declaration stating that the Court Order has not been terminated or revoked by an order of a court. 

My relationship with my child's father has broken down and I do not want him named on the birth certificate. We have never been married so am I right in saying that the father cannot register the birth on his own and therefore he will not be able to have his details entered in the register?

In similar vein to the situation set out above, the father of the child will be able to register the birth on his own, in his capacity as a qualified informant, providing he has and produces a copy of a Court Order. This Court Order may be made under the Children and Young Persons Act 2001. Similarly, the father will be required to make a statutory declaration stating that the Order has not been terminated or revoked by an order of a Court.

I wish to re-register my child's birth to include the father's details. Can I do this? 

You can apply to the Chief Registrar to re-register the birth by completing a statutory declaration. This must be signed by both the mother and the father and submitted to the Civil Registry enclosing all certified copies of your child's birth certificate. 

I have since married the father of my child and wish to change my child's surname. What should I do?

If your child was given the mother's surname at registration, under the Legitimacy Act 1985 the Chief Registrar may authorise the re-registration of the birth on production of your marriage certificate. You will be required to complete a statutory declaration, submitting it to the Civil Registry with all certified copies of your child's birth certificate. Once approved, you will be asked to attend the office where a new entry will be made in the register.

The child's father is no longer alive. Can I have his name shown as the father in the register? 

Whilst we realise it could be very upsetting for you, the Registrar is not able to register the father's details in the register if he is no longer alive without a Court Order. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, we suggest you seek legal advice on the matter. Please note that our Registrars are not legally qualified and therefore will not be able to give you advice, offer any opinions on what course of action to take, or comment on the contents of any documents presented to them.

What if I don't know who the father of my child is?

If you don't know who the father of your child is, a horizontal line will be drawn in the spaces on the birth entry for the father's details and only the mother's details will be recorded in the register.

The person I believe to be the father denies that he is. Will the Civil Registry pay for a DNA test?

No. If you find yourself in this situation you should seek legal advice.