22194 1920 BabyWe are all aware of the complexities of registering a baby’s birth. It has to be done within 42 days of the baby’s arrival and if both parents want to be named on the birth certificate then they both need to attend the office of births, deaths and marriages. There are some exceptions to this rule, but what happens if the parents do not register the birth and the matter is in care proceedings?

The Local Authority becomes involved and will ask the parents to undertake to register the birth. The parents have the right to choose their baby’s name and surname, but what if they still refuse to register? There is case law that suggests the Local Authority can take charge, as in the case of Re T (A child) 2019 EWHC 1572 (Fam). In this case, the Local Authority had an “Interim Care Order”, which is an order made by the court meaning that the Local Authority will share parental responsibility for the child with the parent(s). The Local Authority can then make appropriate provisions for the child even if these are contrary to the parents’ wishes. The mother did not wish to register the birth, but was not opposed to the birth being registered. She just did not wish to do it herself. The father was opposed to the registration, but the court indicated that the Local Authority had limited powers to assist and in fact Mr Justice Hayden indicated that in such circumstances the Local Authority could intervene and register the child’s birth.

It would seem that the law is clear and you have no alternative but to register your child’s birth or the court can intervene and the Local Authority could be tasked with doing it.

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