How to Remove Father’s Name from the Birth Certificate?
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Removing a Father's name from the birth certificate is a serious and grave step. This may be achieved through methods which we will detail in the article below.
How to Remove Father’s Name from the Birth Certificate?
In order to remove the father’s name from the birth certificate, you need to file an appeal in the General Registrar's office and present valid evidence and reasoning to strengthen your case.
Each case is evaluated on its merits and demerits and then the decision is made which is in the best interest of the child.
Who Can Apply to Remove Name on the Birth Certificate?
Amongst others, the people who are eligible to apply for the name removal include:
The named on the certificate as the father
Anyone else with Parental Responsibility
Possible Reasons for the Name Removal
Generally, there are very few possible reasons to remove the father’s name from the Birth certificate:
If by the order of the court, father no longer has Parental Responsibility
If the mother has wrongly presumed the father (non-paternity).
Father is found guilty of physically harming the child
Father has committed a sexual assault against the child
It’s not possible to remove the father’s name for reasons such as lack of support or absence. The court will only issue a name removal order or limit the father’s rights through a Prohibited Steps Order
What to do if the person named on the birth certificate if not the Father?
In case a mother believes that the Father of the child is different from the person named on the birth certificate, the mother will have to provide evidence proving the person named on the birth certificate is not the biological father of the child.
Examples of the evidence include:
DNA test record from the reliable source
Court order confirming the recorded father is not the biological father
Proof that confirms the name of the actual biological father
Any other proof confirming the recorded father is not the biological father.
Removing Parental Responsibility
Though it’s a rare scenario for the court to remove the parental responsibility from a parent, nonetheless it could be needed in some sad situations where continuity of the parental responsibility or having the surname may have an adverse effect on the child’s bests interests and his / her mental health, so the only solution to ensure the safety of the child is to remove the parental responsibility from one of the parents.
Many mothers who have custody (read Parental Responsibility) of their children and have nothing to do with the fathers of the child often consider removing the father’s name from the child’s birth certificate. This is not always necessarily the best approach as removing a Father’s name may have many adverse impacts, including the self-identity impacts on the child, as well as many financial impacts.
In the view of this author, this decision to apply should NOT be taken lightly. If and only if there is no other solution, like a Non Molestation Order or a Prohibited Steps Order only then should this step be considered.
There may be other concerns about the welfare of your child which, in rare circumstances, can not be addressed by the above-referred orders. In this case, you can apply to remove Parental Responsibility to the court, but first, you need to know what Parental Responsibility is and what steps you need to take in order to remove it.
What is Parental Responsibility?
Parental responsibility can be defined as the parent’s duties towards their child that govern the parents’ relationship with their child.
It gives the party with parental responsibility the ability to make important decisions about the child such as name, religion, schooling, and medical decisions.
Usually, both parents have parental responsibility, they can make decisions unilaterally without involving the party, and both parents must come on the same page while making the key decisions of the child’s life.
"Who has Parental Responsibility?
A biological mother of the child will automatically have the PR of her child.
In case of a married father if he is married to the biological mother at the time of the birth of the child or marries her after the birth of the child he will automatically have parental responsibility for the child.
However, if the biological mother is not married to the father of the child and the child was born before 1st December 2003, such father will not have the PR automatically. Nonetheless, the father can acquire the PR in the following ways which will be discussed in the second part of this answer.
Another scenario is if the biological mother is not married to the father of the child and the child is born on or after 1st December 2003, such father will automatically have PR for the child provided his name is registered on the birth certificate of the child.
An important thing to note is that the Children Act 1989 has laid down provisions for the civil partners and same-sex spouses to obtain parental responsibility.
Essentially, if a child is conceived through artificial insemination on or after 6th April 2009 and the mother was in a civil partnership, that civil partner will automatically have PR for the child. If the mother was married to her same-sex spouse and the child was conceived through artificial insemination, the spouse will also automatically obtain the PR for the child. Provided both the names should be added on the birth certificate."
If you have further queries as to "How can I get Parental Responsibility", click here.
Does a Father Automatically Have Parental Responsibility?
While birth mother automatically has Parental Responsibility as soon as the child is born, the father only shares Parental Responsibility under specific circumstances which include (but are not limited to) :
He is married to the Mother before the birth of the Child.
The father gets married to the Mother of the Biological Child after the birth of the Child
He and the Child's Mother signed a Parental Agreement
He is the Civil Partner of the Birth Mother
If the court has given a Parental Responsibility Order
If the Father's name is added to the Birth Certificate
A Section 8 final Child Arrangements order is made in name of the father as the child to live with arrangement with the father
Can Parental Responsibility be removed?
Parental Responsibility can be removed in very exceptional circumstances, where the high threshold for the removal of parental responsibility is met as judged by the court.
This includes serious concerns wherein the court believes that the parent is having a negative impact on the Child. In that case, the court mostly restricts the parent's involvement in the child’s life through Prohibited Steps Order or Non-Molestation Order.
Name removal from the birth certificate is also only possible only under exceptional circumstances, and this is for good reasons.
Consideration for Single Mothers
For single mothers, it’s a very crucial decision whether or not to have the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate as the implications of this decision can be both positive and negative for the child as well as for the mother.
Please note that removing the father’s name from the birth certificate doesn’t guarantee a mother the child's living arrangement (custody) rights and the father can apply for the child’s custody legally by making an application to the court, including but not limited to, permission to apply, and seeking Parental Responsibility, no matter what the birth certificate says.
Potential Benefits of Removing Father’s Name
Below are some of the biggest pros of removing the father’s name from the child’s birth certificate:
Custody (Child Arrangements) Contact Rights
One of the most significant effects of not having the father’s name on the birth certificate is that it makes it difficult for him to request the custody rights of the child.
When the father’s name is on the certificate, it gives them a right to assert Parental Responsibility over the child.
However, when you remove the father’s name from the birth certificate, it's like officially declaring that child will have nothing to do with their father in the future
Another potential pro is the ability to take all the major decisions of your child’s life including healthcare treatments, moving to a new city, and school admissions alone without having to need the other parent’s agreement.
If the father’s name is not on the birth certificate, you can freely take your child out of the country as you are the sole guardian and don’t need to seek permission from the father giving their permission at the border crossing.
Potential Negatives of Removing Father’s Name
Just like pros, there are plenty of disadvantages of removing the father’s name from the birth certificate as well.
One of the major disadvantages is that your child will lose his/her right to any child support from his father as well as the prospect of inheritance. As the father will not have any parental rights on the child, he won’t be responsible for paying child maintenance.
Health Insurance Coverage
Having the father’s name on the birth certificate serves as important documentation for getting insurance coverage for your child.
When the father’s name is removed from the birth certificate, it will prevent your child from being enrolled in the father’s health insurance plan.
Removing the father’s name from the birth certificate will also deprive your child of receiving the death benefits such as social security and child support because you can not prove the paternity if the father’s name is missing on the birth certificate.
How Can We Help?
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Driven by the desire to help you and your family, our team will provide you with the highest standard of court representation, guiding you skilfully through the paperwork and application which can be a confusing process for most people.
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This Article is NOT legal advice and should NOT be treated as legal advice.