How to Re-register the Birth of a Child
There are several reasons for re-registering a child’s birth in the UK. But, by law you must re-register children who were born before a marriage.
The Legitimacy Act 1976 is one of the obscure British laws but it applies to all parents. The aim is to recognise children as a ‘child of the marriage’.
You can also add the natural father’s name to the birth record (certificate) at the register office. The correct application form to use will depend on whether you marry the natural father – or not.
- Under the law, you must use form LA1 to apply to re-register a child’s birth following the marriage of natural parents.
- Use form GRO 185 to apply to re-register a child’s birth and add the natural father’s details.
Fill in the most relevant form and take it to a local register office near to where you live. You can search online to find a register office in England and Wales.
Statutory Declaration of Acknowledgement of Parentage
You will need to use another form to register the birth of a child if both parents are unable to go in person to the register office.
It applies if you are not married and one person cannot be there for registration. The absent person needs to fill in a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage form‘. You should post it to the General Register Office after filling it in.
Ordering a New Birth Certificate
Adding a father’s name to a birth certificate to re-register the birth does not ‘automatically’ provide you with the new document. But, you can order a copy of a birth certificate if you would like to get one.
Note: You can correct a birth registration by request. The process removes the wrong father’s name on the birth certificate. You can then re-register the birth with the correct father’s name.
If the Court Issues a Declaration of Parentage
Having a Declaration of Parentage means a court has determined the legal father of a baby. There is no need for you to change the birth record if a court has issued a Declaration of Parentage.
If it happens, the court would inform the General Register Office. So, they will re-register the birth as part of the process. But, if you want a copy of the new birth certificate you would need to order one by the usual means.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Childcare Support | Information on child education and guidance for parents with school-age children.
Parenting Rules | A section explaining the basics of parenthood and your legal rights of being a parent.