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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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My partner has a baby girl. The natural father is not named

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My partner has a baby girl. The natural father is not named on the birth certificate. He has no interest in the child and in fact disputes the fact that he is the father. I would like to bring the child up as mine without going through the adoption process. Can I with the mother's consent add my name to the birth certificate?

Hello and thanks for your question.

With or without your girlfriend's consent,you cannot be registered as the child's father if you are not the child's biological father. That would be fraudulent - and is probably a criminal offence.

You want to bring the child up as your own. In other words, you want parental responsibility for the child.

Mothers automatically have parental responsibility (PR) for their child. Fathers acquire PR a) by marrying the mother of their own child b) by being named as the natural biological father on the child's birth certificate c) if they MARRY the mother of a child who is not theirs AND the natural father who ALSO has PR agrees, they can all three signed a parental responsibilty agreement.

None of these apply to you. An adoption order does grant PR but is only used for children in the care system - so that also does not apply to you.

When you have been living with the mother and the child for three years, you can apply for a child arrangements order or a parental responsibility order. A child arrangements order can specify with whom a child is to live and with whom a child is to have contact. When a biological father applies for this order, the order automatically confers PR - but the court would consider the situation much more carefully if someone who was not the biological father applied.

Alternatively, you could apply for a parental responsibility order. Again, this is an order that is usually applied for by the biological father, so the court would consider the situation much more carefully if someone who was not the biological father applied.

The natural biological father would have to be given notice of any court proceedings including adoption that involved his own child, as he has the right to have his views heard by the court.

I know this was not the answer you were hoping for, but it would be wrong of me not to be honest with you and not to give you the correct legal position as I see it.

You may like to have some face-to-face legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor.Here's where to find one:

I hope this helps anyway, and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again

I see that you looked at my answer yesterday but did not accept it. Is there anything you would like me to clarify?

If not, I would be grateful if you would kindly now accept and rate my answer so that I can be credited for my time - thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt reply.

There is a possibility that the child might be mine. If there was an honestly held belief that the baby was mine, would it be an offence to register me as the father without a DNA test? As previously stated, the more likely but by no means certain father denies paternity and therefore there is no likelihood of a challenge through the courts

Hello again

If you are SURE that you are the natural father, then you and the mother can apply to reregister the birth on this form:

But beware this warning:

"Any person who deliberately gives false information for the registration of a birth may be prosecuted". In my experience, you WILL be prosecuted if you are found later not to be the father, and you registered your name with that doubt in your mind yet you went ahead and registered your name as the father anyway.

In your case, you CANNOT be sure, as the mother has clearly believed that the other man is the father - and that was how you started this question.

If you believe that you might be the father, then you should get DNA testing to settle the question once and for all. The DNA test is simply a nurse taking a saliva swab from your mouth, and (with the mother's consent) from the baby's mouth, so it takes 2 seconds, and it is not invasive at all.

Many labs will even send a nurse collector to your home to take the sample. Here's a list of labs approved by the Ministry of Justice (don't go to any lab not on this list, as their results may not be reliable) :

The prices vary, so ring a few or check out their websites to decide who to go to for the test.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...