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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Who can register a birth

Opposite-sex couples

Married or civil-partner parents

Either parent can register the birth on their own. They can include both parents’ details if they were married or in a civil partnership when the baby was born or conceived.

Unmarried parents

The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if one of the following happens:

  • they sign the birth register together
  • one parent completes a statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth
  • one parent goes to register the birth with a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the father parental responsibility

The mother can choose to register the birth without the child’s father if they’re not married or in a civil partnership. The father’s details will not be included on the birth certificate.

It might be possible to add the father’s details at a later date by completing an application for the re-registration of a child’s birth form

Same-sex female couples

Female couples can include both their names on their child’s birth certificate when registering the birth.

Married or civil-partner parents

Either parent can register the birth on their own if all of the following are true:

  • the mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment
  • she was married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment

Unmarried, non-civil-partner parents

When a mother is not married or in a civil partnership, her partner can be seen as the child’s second parent if both women:

  • are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic
  • have made a ‘parenthood agreement’

However, for both parents’ details to be recorded on the birth certificate, they must do one of the following:

  • register the birth jointly
  • complete a statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage form and one parent takes the signed form when she registers the birth
  • get a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the second female parent parental responsibility and one parent shows the document when she registers the birth

Same-sex male couples

Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents.

Other people who can register a birth

If the parents cannot register the birth (for example, for medical reasons), certain other people can do it:

  • someone who was present at the birth
  • someone who is responsible for the child
  • a member of the administrative staff at the hospital where the child was born
     
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