LEGAL EAGLE: I'm not on my child’s birth certificate but I want to have a say in her care
I separated from my daughter’s mother before she was born in November 2022, and I was not included on the birth certificate. I want to be involved in any decisions about her care. What can I do?
If you had been named on your child’s birth certificate, or you were married to her mother at the time she was born, you would have automatically had parental responsibility for your daughter. These are the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority which a parent has in respect of their child. Essentiall y, parental responsibility gives you a right to be involved in any decisions taken in respect of the child. For example, consenting to medical treatment.
You are not named on your daughter’s birth certificate but would like to be involved in making decisions about her care. While your daughter’s mother may be agreeable to involving you in those decisions, without parental responsibility she would have the final say. We would advise you to consider the following options:
Firstly, ask the mother whether she would sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement
This is a document which would be signed by both you and the mother, indicating that you are in agreement that you should be granted parental responsibility. You would then file this with the Family Court and upon receipt of the final stamped agreement, you would have parental responsibility for your daughter.
If the mother is not in agreement, you will need to apply to the court for a “Parental Responsibility Order”.
If the mother is not willing to sign a parental responsibility agreement, you will need to consider applying to the court for an order. Your application would need to be made on “Form C1” (which can be accessed online) and pay a fee to the court.
When the judge considers your application and decides whether to grant you parental responsibility, they will look at factors like your current relationship, your commitment to your daughter, and why you have made your application.
If you would like to receive further information about either process please contact Ben Hoare Bell LLP on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.