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One of the issues we get asked about a lot at AlphaBiolabs is what do I have to do to change or add a father’s name to a birth certificate.

One of the important things to remember is that you must be sure that the alleged father to be added to the child’s birth certificate is definitely the biological father of the child. The only way to do this is through DNA testing.  There are two types of DNA paternity test available, the peace of mind paternity test and the legal DNA test. The DNA test you will need to change or add a father’s name to a birth certificate is a legal DNA test.

Living together at the Birth?

When a married couple have a child together, the mother and the father are automatically placed on the birth certificate. This is because the UK government assumes that because the couple are married, the father is the biological father, but when an unmarried couple have a child, the father must be present at the birth and sign a declaration stating he is the father. If there is any doubt at this stage then it is recommended that you take a DNA paternity test.

Six Week Deadline

There is a six week deadline from when the child is born for birth certificates to be submitted to a UK register of birth marriages and deaths. This should be a long enough time period for you to take a DNA test and receive the results proving whether he is the father or not. If the alleged father is proven to not be the biological father, the mother can reserve the right to leave the space on the birth certificate blank.

If an alleged father believes he is the biological father of a child, they can seek legal advice. The solicitor will advise them that will need a legal DNA test to prove the issue and in most cases a court will grant his request. At this point the court will assess whether he has regular contact with the child and the quality of the contact.

If an alleged father refuses to acknowledge that he is the biological father of a child and the mother wishes to have him added or needs this for child support she should seek legal advice. Under UK law, a person needs to give consent to have a DNA test and a UK court will have to be approached to order this.

For more information on this or any other paternity related issues please give one of our advisors a call on 0333 600 1300. You can also contact the General Register Office for England and Wales (address below)

General Register Office (England and Wales)
GRO Corrections
PO Box 476
Tel: 0151 471 4806 (Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm)

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