Who can register a birth?
Parents married to each other
If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the birth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.
Parents not married to each other
If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the child's birth (or conception), the father's details can only be entered in the register in the following circumstances:
- the mother and father go to the register office and sign the birth register together, or where the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother he can make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which the mother must produce to the registrar (this form is available from any registrar in England or Wales); or
- where the mother is unable to go to the register office with the father -
the mother may make a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity which the father must produce to the registrar (this form is available from any registrar in England or Wales); or
- where the mother and father have made a parental responsibility agreement or either has an appropriate court order - the agreement or order should be produced to the registrar by either parent.
If the father's particulars are not recorded in the birth register, it is possible for the birth to be re-registered to include his details at a later date. You can get further information about how to apply for the re-registration of a birth.
Other people who may register births
Although the majority of births are registered by the parents, sometimes neither the mother or the father are able to do this. In these circumstances, the registrar will arrange for the registration to be completed by:
- the occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born
- a person who was present at the birth
- a person who is responsible for the child