Re-registering a birth
Including the father's details
If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and the father did not attend with the mother to register the baby, it is possible to re-register the birth at any time in the future to include the father's details in the registration and change the surname of the child. A form is available on the gov.uk website which should be completed by both parents.
The completed form should be returned to the Register Office in the district where the child was born. The form details which documents should be included with the application. We will then contact you to arrange an appointment for both parents to attend at the Register Office. During busy times this appointment may take several weeks to arrange.
However, it is possible for either parent to make a statutory declaration before a solicitor or other person able legally to witness an oath, acknowledging parentage of the child. It is also possible for either parent to seek a court order naming the father. In any of these cases the birth will be registered again and certified copies of the re-registered birth can be purchased from the registrar.
Changing to the mother's surname
If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and it was decided to give the child the father's surname, whether or not he attended with the mother, it is not possible to change the surname in the registration back to that of the mother.
The only alternative will be to consult a solicitor and make a statutory declaration or deed poll changing the surname of the child. This will not change the original birth registration. The statutory declaration or deed poll document should be attached to the birth certificate and this will provide evidence that the child is being brought up in a surname different to that recorded in the birth registration.
If the parents have married since registering the birth
If the parents have married each other since the birth was registered, the birth should be re-registered to accurately record the current legal status of the child.
A form is available on the gov.uk site that must be signed by both parents. The form should be returned to their nearest registration office, together with a copy of their marriage certificate. Once necessary checks have been made, either parent can then attend the office: the birth will then be re-registered and the child's surname can be changed (with restrictions) as part of this process.
Certified copies of the re-registered birth can be purchased from the registrar.
Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021
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