One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson hit the headlines recently when he broke his silence and admitted he was excited at the prospect of becoming a father for the first time.
News of the impending fatherhood was revealed last month and stories have surfaced suggesting that both Tomlinson and the American mother of his unborn baby intend to raise their child together. One question that springs to mind, due to the fact the soon to be parents are not married, is will he be named on the child’s birth certificate?
In England and Wales, a father who is not married to a mother at the time of the child’s birth acquires Parental Responsibility if his name is put on the child’s birth certificate at registration. This is in contrast to a father married to the mother at the time of birth where Parental Responsibility is automatically obtained.
What is Parental Responsibility?
Parental Responsibility is the right to be consulted and involved in decisions concerning a child’s upbringing.
Where the parents are not married, the mother has the sole duty and power to register the birth. The father’s details can only be entered in the register if both parents attend together to register the birth. The unmarried mother does not have to put the father’s details on the register when she registers the birth.
What If the Mother of Louis Tomlinson’s Child Did Not Want Him to Co-Parent the Child?
What would happen if the mother of Tomlinson’s child, Briana Jungwirth, was English and had refused to register his details as father at the time of registration of the birth?
Although each birth registration is an historic record of the facts at the time of the birth, it is possible to change the details or add to the information originally recorded in certain circumstances. This includes recording the biological father’s details in the birth record should the mother subsequently agree. The new birth record would then replace the original one.
Alternatively, if an agreement cannot be made, an application could be made to the Court for the Court to issue a Declaration of Parentage. The Court would then decide who the child’s father is and the General Register office would re-register the birth.
Acquiring Parental Responsibility
An unmarried father who is not named on the birth certificate can also subsequently acquire Parental Responsibility by either entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother, by applying to the Court for a Parental Responsibility Order, or by applying to the Court and obtaining a Child Arrangements Order that the child reside with him (previously known as a Residence Order).
The registration of a child’s birth has significant implications on a father and should be considered and planned in advance. It is understood Tomlinson’s baby will be born early next year and no doubt this is something which will be at the forefront of his mind if he wants to play an active role in his child’s life.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are experts in children law. If you have an issue obtaining parental responsibility you can call our Family Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 for a free initial consultation or alternatively you can contact us online.