Change a Birth Certificate with a paternity test

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There are different scenarios relate to changing a Birth certificate using a DNA test. This can be a confusing situation to be in. There is a difference between removing the name of a father from a birth certificate, to changing the name of the father on a birth certificate, to adding the name of a father to a birth certificate.

Small changes to a child’s birth certificate can be handled by Local Register Offices but large changes like altering the name of a child’s father on the birth certificate, must be dealt with by the General Register office.

Below are some of the situations that may arise and how paternity testing can help. The information also tells you what to do in order to apply for the required changes to be made to the birth certificate.

Changing the Name of the Father on a Childs Birth Certificate:

If you believe that a child’s birth certificate has the wrong fathers named on it, or you know that the wrong fathers name is on a birth certificate, you may wish to have it changed. Changing the father’s name on a birth certificate is not straight forward. You can only apply to change the father name on the birth certificate if you can provide at least one of the following:

    • A DNA test report proving that the man named on the birth certificate isn’t the biological father of the child; or
    • A DNA test report proving that the man named on the test report is the biological father of the child; or
    • A Court Order stating that the father listed on the birth certificate is not the true biological father; or
    • A Court Order stating that the father named on the court order is the true biological father of the child

A DNA paternity test carried out by the BioClinics can be used to provide the evidence needed to change the father’s name on a birth certificate. A paternity test is the recommended form of DNA test to use for this purpose as it clearly states that a person is or is not the biological father of a child/individual.

However, in some cases Paternity tests are not possible. This may be due to the required test participants not being available. In these cases, other forms of DNA test can be used. These include sibling DNA tests, grandparent DNA tests and DNA tests to establish biological aunts and uncles. These tests are an indirect way of testing paternity.

The DNA test chosen must be a Legal DNA Test, carried out by an approved laboratory facility. The BioClinics laboratory facility is fully accredited and any of the legal DNA tests we offer can be used to help with the process of changing the father’s name on a birth certificate.

Removing the Name of the Father on a Childs Birth Certificate

If a child’s birth certificate has been registered with the wrong person listed as the father but the identity of the real father is not known, it is possible to remove the father’s name from the birth certificate by supplying the General Register Office with the following evidence. Either:

    • A DNA test report proving that the man named on the birth certificate isn’t the biological father of the child; or
    • A Court Order stating that the father listed on the birth certificate is not the true biological father.

A DNA paternity test carried out by the BioClinics can be used to provide the evidence needed to remove the father’s name on a birth certificate. A paternity test is the recommended form of DNA test to use for this purpose as it clearly states that a person is or is not the biological father of a child/individual.

How to Apply for the Changes Required on the Birth Certificate.

In order to change or remove the name of the father on a child’s birth certificate, you must apply to the General Register Office (GRO).

You must fill in the following form: ‘Application form to remove incorrect father’s details from a birth registration’ (PDF, 24KB)

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_200731.pdf

You will need to send the above mentioned DNA test report or court order with the application form to the GRO

If you are not sending original copies of the evidence, you should only send in documents that have been certified as true copies of the original. You can find information on how to certify documents at https://www.gov.uk/certifying-a-document

Witnessing the correction to the child’s birth certificate.

When applying to the GRO to make the correction to the father name on the child’s birth certificate, you can say on the application form whether you want to witness the correction.

Because you are applying to change an important factor on the birth certificate, the GRO may ask you to fill in ‘statutory declaration’ about the correction and forward it to them. This is a legal statement in front of someone like a judge or solicitor that they must sign (sometimes called ‘attesting an oath’).

If you make a statutory declaration, you won’t have to witness the correction.

You may have to pay a fee for a statutory declaration

Adding a Father's Name to a Birth Certificate

This applies ONLY if the father’s details were left BLANK on the original birth certificate.In these cases, it is necessary to re-register the child’s birth if you want to add the natural father’s details to the birth record.

A paternity test/court order is not required to make this change. However, if required, a peace of mind paternity test can be performed. This will allow a fathers details to be added to the birth certificate without either party having any doubts about the accuracy of the information.

Following a marriage: If the parents have married after the child was born and you want the father’s details to be on the birth record, you can re-register your child’s birth by filling in an ‘Application for re-registration following parents marriage’ form.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_176556.pdf

Take or send the completed form to the registrar of births and deaths for the district where your child was born, or to another registrar of births and deaths in England or Wales.

If the parents are NOT married: If the parents want the father’s name adding to the childs birth certificate but they are not married, you must again re-register the child’s birth. You can do this by completing the form ‘Application for the re-registration of a child’s birth’

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@government/documents/digitalasset/dg_176555.pdf

However, if either the mother or father of the child cannot be present when the changes are made to the birth certificate, then the absent person also needs to fill in a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’ form.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_176228.pdf

Costs

There isn’t any charge for correcting a birth record. However, if you want a new certificate showing the correct details, you’ll need to pay a fee.

Advice

If you want further advice on applying to make a correction, contact the register office

https://www.gov.uk/register-offices or the GRO.