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Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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My childs father abandoned my daughter when she was 7 weeks

Customer Question

My child's father abandoned my daughter when she was 7 weeks old. He has now moved away and has not paid, seen or spoken to the child since he walked out. Is there any way to remove him from the birth certificate and change her surname to mine without his consent as I have not got a clue where he is or how to contact him.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Kasare replied 4 years ago.
Hi thanks for your question, I will assist you with this.

I am afraid that you cannot amend the birth certificate to remove your daughters father's name if he is the biological father. If there was an error and he is not her father, then it could be amended, but this requires a DNA test to prove or a court order.

In terms of changing your daughters surname to yours, then this can be done. However, an application to change your daughters surname will only be successful if everyone with parental responsibility (PR) (this usually includes the father) gives their written consent.

How old is your daughter now as PR was not automatic pre-2003? If she was born post 1 December 2003 and he is registered on her birth certificate (as you have confirmed) he will have PR, despite his failings.

Do you not have any contact with his family/friends who could provide you with his whereabouts? Have you made any attempts to locate him? The court can consider an application, but without you showing you have made all reasonable effort to locate him, it is unlikely they would truly consider your application.

If you intend to make such an application, I would strongly advise you obtain face to face advise/assistance on making the application from a family solicitor.

I hope this assists. I am sorry it is not the answer you are likely seeking, but i have a duty to advise you of the issues you will face.

If you have any further questions on this, please ask.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My daughter is now 3. I have been to a solicitor which then sent him letters with agreements for supervised access which my ex partner failed to respond to any. I have copies of these letters as I had to get police involved when she was 7 weeks old as he refused to give her back and was verbally abusive infront of my daughter. I do not have any contact with his friends or family. The only thing I know is that he moved to Australia in 2011.

Expert:  Kasare replied 4 years ago.
Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Thanks for the additional information. I do understand your reasons for the change. However, you will still need to take steps to try and locate him I order to prove to the court you have tried to obtain his consent. Once you have done this, make the application setting out the reasons for the change and how you have tried to obtain the consent.. The court will then consider the matter. If they think the change of surname is in the best interests of your daughter then your application may be successful. Again, I would advise you ask a solicitor to prepare the application for you.