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Category: Law
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When I was 16 my girlfriend had a child, she was also 16 at

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When I was 16 my girlfriend had a child, she was also 16 at the time. I was put on the birth certificate but being so very young the relationship broke down and she met someone else and moved away without giving me a way of contacting her.
My daughter was 2/3at the time
She married someone else and changed her and the childs names.
I've tried many times over the years to find them and have just located them.
A friend has contacted my daughter who is now 19. She has told me that her name was changed based on a dna test that was done several yrs ago naming the man she married as the father.
I Don't believe this to be true and have been told that I can't see the dna results and if I try to contact her again she will put a restraining order on me.
Obviously I would like to know the truth and would like to know my legal standing on this

Hello, my name is Marcus.

You can make an application under section 56 family law act 1996.

The application is for a declaration of parentage. Applications are often made when a father is refusing a DNA test and the court consider all evidence available such as evidence from the mother that they were in a relationship of the time and that he is believed to be the father. The court if satisfied can then make a declaration that they consider the alleged father to be the father.

In your case this is not entirely helpful although the court could make a declaration that they consider you are the father it would simply be based on all the circumstances of the case and in particular your evidence but at the time you were in a relationship with a mother and therefore most likely to be the father.

If an application is made however then the court can encourage your daughter to have a DNA test as it would resolve the issue once and for all.

However if your daughter refuses then the court can draw an inference from her failure to cooperate and make a decoration for your her father. As I say that that is not entirely helpful to you as you want to know whether you are actually the father or not rather than be successful in securing a declaration that you are the father due to your daughter's refusal to undergo a DNA test.

Do you think that if it is determined that you are the father then your daughter would wish to have a relationship with you or do you think too much damage may have already been caught by her mother.

There is one of the avenue could possibly explore and it is to obtain a copy of her birth certificate. This should be possible as it is a public document.

If your name has been removed from the birth certificate and another person's name placed on the certificate as father then in all likelihood a DNA test has been undertaken revealing that the named person is in fact the father.

A birth certificate can only be changed with evidence by way of a DNA test.

If the birth certificate remains with your name on his father then I would suspect that no such DNA test exists as one would have thought upon such a DNA test result revealing the other person is the father the first thing they would have done would have been to change the birth certificate.

I do hope that this helps a little.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have applied for a birth certificate already and awaiting its delivery. Based on what she has said the mother has been very negative when describing me so I don't think she would want to meet me anyway however I feel we all need to know the truth and she has other siblings that have always known about her and I'm hoping one day they can meet.
If I'm still on the certificate what would be me next course of action?


If you are still on the birth certificate then although is not conclusive I would be pretty confident that is a clear indication that you are the father.

It is so very difficult to suggest what to do as you cannot force your daughter to have a relationship with you. I am not at all surprised that the mother has spoken about you negative terms.

I would however suggest that contact is made with your daughter possibly by way of a letter just setting out but as you remain on the birth certificate you believe that that is an indication that you are in fact a father and that if they had been a DNA test then the birth certificate would have no doubt been change.

This may of course result and your daughter questioning why the best forget has not been changed hopefully with the realisation that you in fact her father. It may be at this stage that she would be willing to undertake a DNA test been something that you can suggest if your name does in fact remain on the birth certificate.

I would however say for now you should just take one step at a time and see if you are the father on the birth certificate.

Thank you.


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