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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35069
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Can I be forced to put my name on a birth certificate?The

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Can I be forced to put my name on a birth certificate?

The circumstances surrounding my current predicament are long and convoluted but hopefully can be summarised here. Two years ago I drunkenly conceived a child with an ex-partner. (who for 7 years claimed that it was absolutely impossible to conceive) This has understandably caused much extra strain on my current partners already fragile mental well being. She has a long history of mental illness, has recently miscarried herself and has a more recent diagnosis of PTSD. We are all in our early 40s.

My ex is pushing for my name to be added to the birth certificate and I have suggested that I will not do this without a DNA test, primarily to satisfy my current partner once she is well enough for it to be discussed without causing more illness. She (my ex) will not accept anything other than the services of Cellmark whose cost is prohibitive to me at the current time and for the forseable future.

I have no issue in principle with being named as the childs father but must think primarily of my girlfriends state of mind. (She is at times suicidal and I believe only time and counselling will help). I have suggested other DNA testing services at a fraction of the cost and pointed out that it will be a number of years yet before the child has any interest in a birth certificate.

The latest email received suggests that she will file court papers this month to force me to put my name to the birth certificate, that if I do not turn up a warrant will be issued for my arrest etc She also suggests that she could name my partner as the reason that I will not put my name on the certificate and that similarly she would be asked to attend and a warrant issued for her arrest should she not do so.

I cannot see that it is in any ones interests in the short term to force this issue which can only result in the detriment to one persons psycological well being.

Can she do any of this? When I do put my name to the certificate does this give me parental responsibility? And does being named as the father have any other implications (I am already paying child maintenance via the CSA)
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
have you been paying maintenance for the child?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, whilst I try it has been intermittent due amounts requested being more than I am able - this should soon be re-calculated as my actual self employed tax return and accounts have been recently completed.

In the first instance I I did not and there was no hesitation in taking me to court. I now pay a CCJ and direct to child support.

For clarity - who took you to court - why was the CSA not involved?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The CSA are involved and have been from the start and it is through them that I was taken to court for non payment of the first few months.

Did you not request a DNA test via the CSA?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi thanks for getting back to me,

I'm afraid that the first few months of CSA involvement coincided with particularly difficult homelife, my partners miscarriage and consequent breakdown and so were ignored and the opportunity missed.

That is fine - it was just a matter I needed to understand.
Has your ex offered to pay half of the test fee?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No she hasn't

Your ex has mixed some facts and fiction together to frighten you so let us untangle them
Your ex can indeed apply to the court for a Declaration of Parentage so that your name is XXXXX XXXXX the Birth Certificate.
Within this application the court will order a DNA test from one of these laboratories
If you do not agree then the court will assume that you are the father and will make the Order.
There will be no warrants and no involvement of your partner
In addition it is likely that your ex will have to pay for half of the test
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer which has been very helpful. Could you clarify what position this would leave me in regarding parental rights if my name were added by Declaration of Parentage?

If it is added in this way it does not give you any Parental Rights - only your being present and agreeing gives you PR (or a court order of course)
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you