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Awan-Legal, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
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What legal action can be taken if an incorrect fathers name

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What legal action can be taken if an incorrect father's name has been entered on a child's Birth Certificate?

What legal action can be taken if this situation has existed for many years?

Is it an offence to make a false entry on a Birth Certificate or not to correct the error once this has been disproved by way of a DNA test?

Awan-Legal : Hi
Awan-Legal : You would need to apply to correct the father's details on the birth certificate as detailed in the link I will give you.
Awan-Legal : A DNA test will need to be taken and the entry will be corrected but the full long birth certificate shall still show the original name specified at date of birth, since by law the details recorded at birth must be shown. Please see the link below:
Awan-Legal :
Awan-Legal : It is an offence to declare false information on the birth certificate but if you believed that he was the biological father at the time, then there should be no issue.
Awan-Legal : The Offence is contained in section 4 of the perjury act:
Awan-Legal :
Awan-Legal : The key word is ''wilfully' so if you did not deliberately give false information then there is no offence (such as you believed him to be the father at the time).
Awan-Legal : I hope that helps.
Awan-Legal : Please let me know if you wish to continue our dialogue. In the meantime, please click on a positive rating from ok to above. We can continue our chat if there is anything else from the above.

Thank you for your response so far. My situation is that 14 years have passed since the child was born and the first Birth Certificate was created. Furthermore, a DNA test was conducted between the Mother, the child and the father named on the Birth Certificate shortly after birth. This DNA test proved categorically that the father named on the Birth certificate was not the father of the child. As I say, the Mother has known this information for the best part of 13-14 years and so while I would say that the entry on the Birth Certificate was not wilful, no action has been taken to correct this error since. Is this an offence?


A follow on question: should the child's surname by law be that name of the person named as her father on the Birth Certificate or if I was married to the Mother of the child (and am now divorced) is she (the child) entitled to use my name or can I ensure the child uses the name on her original birth certificate?

Awan-Legal : It may be an offence if they deliberately ('wilfuly'') gave a false name on the birth certificate and so if they knew he was not the father at the time but still entered this on the birth certificate.
Awan-Legal : You can change the child's surname without changing the birth certificate by making a statutory declaration for change of name. This can be done through any local solicitor.
Awan-Legal : The child can therefore change their name by law through a statutory declaration as above.

Thank you for your response. I want to clarify one thing. My question is: Is my consent required to make such a statutory declaration for change of name? Can the childs mother (from whom I am divorced) make such a statutory declaration for change of name to my surname without reference to me in order to change the child's name from what it it appears as on the Birth certificate? How can I find out if this has been done.

Awan-Legal : That's ok. The mother must be the one to do this so you do not need to do anything, however, there is no way of checking the change of name until she applies for the passport etc to be changed. Once the statutory declaration has been made, this will be sent to the passport authorities etc with the relevant forms for the name to be changed.
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