Registering A Birth After The Death Of Father

03 Jul, 2015

Registering A Birth After A Father's Death

Having to register a birth after the death of a parent is a sad and unfortunate position to be in. As both parents would typically need to be present in order to have their names included on the birth certificate, this may cause undue distress to the other party.

Registering a child's birth is a simple process, completed at the local Register Office where the baby was born. However to register a deceased the father, on the birth certificate there are additional steps that need to be taken. Mother's who pass away during childbirth are automatically placed on the birth certificate.

Who can register the birth after death?

According to Government legislation, married couples can complete their child's birth certificate with both names registered on the document. It is the mother's choice however to allow the father to be added. However, either the mother or husband can register the baby at the local Register Office, providing the not present parent signs a declaration of parentage to show the registrar.

Adding the father's name to the birth certificate after his death is a somewhat complex endeavor.

Depending on two possible scenarios, anticipated or unexpected death, there are differing procedures to register the man's name on the legal document.

Registration when a child is conceived by fertility treatment after the father's death

In 2003, the Parliament changed the law to allow for a man to be registered as the father of a child resulting from a fertility treatment undertaken after the man's death.

As a result the deceased man's name, surname, occupation and place of birth can be entered in the birth register and birth certificate. To register the infant's father the mother needs the man's written consent to the fertility treatment and to being named the legal parent.

Other required documents include:

  • Written confirmation from the clinic that the man's consent had not been withdrawn
  • The mother's written request for the man to be named as the father in the birth registration
  • Written confirmation of the fertility treatment from the treatment clinic or hospital doctor
  • The father's original death certificate
  • The couple's original marriage certificate where applicable

Although the father's name is registered on the birth certificate, he will not be regarded by law as the child's father in other purposes. The child will not have any legal rights relating to the father's inheritance or nationality.

Registration when the father passes away during pregnancy

If an unmarried father dies before the child is born, there are several steps to be taken for his name to be registered on the birth certificate. The process is lengthy and significantly costly.

A lawyer is not compulsory to complete the form. But due to its complexity it might be easier to seek legal help.

First there needs to be a DNA test to prove the biological relation between the child and the deceased parent. It costs approximately £200.

The mother then needs to file an application under Section 55A of Family Law Act 1986 Declarations of parentage to the Family Court. The form has twelve pages to fill and is divided into 8 sections - About You (Applicant); The respondents and other people in the case; Why are you making this application?; Other court cases which concern the people whose parentage or parenthood is in question in the case; Connection with England and Wales; Nationality, citizenship, immigration status; Statement of truth; and Attending the court.

After filing the paperwork, the court sets a date for a directions hearing and the judge evaluates the case. The DNA test is crucial for this part of the process, which also involves statements from relevant people, like the mother or grandparents, to further prove the parentage.

A further court hearing is required to complete the order. Court fees for these types of proceedings are currently 365 pounds, adding to the DNA expenses and attorney services.

In twenty one days, the order is finally sent to the Register Office for the birth certificate to be re-issued. The new document will include the deceased father's details.