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But what about those who have a Birth Certificate which is incorrect or has information missing? 
The general public were shocked to learn about the prison sentence a mother, who had lied on her child’s birth certificate just to spite the real father, is serving. Louise Boyce put her new boyfriend’s name, Ashley Leggatt, down on her baby’s birth certificate instead of the real father’s name Ashley Sayce. The Court was told that Boyce who had put the false information down to spite the real father was pregnant again with Leggatt’s baby and is currently serving eight months prison time whilst Leggatt has been sentenced to six months. Their lies were discovered when social services became involved and a paternity test was carried out. 

Contact our Family Law specialists 

The content of a birth certificate should be an accurate reflection of the position at the birth of the child, that said, children can be registered without one or both parents being named or even with errors. 

How do I change a birth certificate? 

If you register a forename and then change your mind, you can apply to alter the birth certificate, provided the child was baptised in the new forename or the forename was in “regular use” within 12 months of the birth being registered. 
Where a father is correctly named on the birth certificate the surname cannot be changed. The same applies even in the mother and father were not married but the father attended the registration. 
If the parents were not married and the father was not present at the registration process, then were the parents to subsequently marry the Parents may choose to re-register the birth to show the father’s details and the child can take their surname. 

What if one Parent is not included on the Birth Certificate? 

In instances where one parent refuses to include the other parent on the birth certificate, inclusion on the birth certificate after 2003 provide automatic parental responsibility for a child. Under the Family Law Act 1986 a Parent can apply to the Court for a declaration of percentage or legitimacy. Where there is a declaration then under section 14A of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, the Registrar General can re-register the birth to show the correct details. The first port of call should always be a request to the other Parent to be added to the birth certificate, if this is refused you should apply for a declaration of paternity. 

Can you change a child’s name? 

When couples separate, one Parent may wish to change the name of a child. If both Parents have parental responsibility, a change of name cannot be done without agreement. Where only one parent has parental responsibility, they can change the surname without agreement and a Court Order would be required to do this. If we are asking the Court to decide whether a change of name should be issued, a change of name would not be allowed unless there was evidence that this would lead to an improvement in the welfare of the child. You can read our blog about this, here
If you want to discuss changing a birth certificate contact our Family Law Solicitors in Preston on 01524 581 306 or email 
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors 
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