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Partner of pregnant woman suffered issues surrounding registering of child's name

10 March 2011

We were consulted by a father whose partner was pregnant with their baby. The mother and father had recently split up and the mother had vowed to attend at the local register office to register the birth without the father and to register the baby’s surname as that of the mother’s, rather than the surname of the father, as had previously been agreed between them. By the mother attending to register the birth on her own, not registering the father’s details and not intending to re-register his details at a later date, the father would not have obtained “Parental Responsibility” in respect of his child when he/she was born. Due to the fact that the child had not yet been born, no application to the Court could be made. We therefore wrote to the mother requesting her agreement that the father attend to register the birth with her and that the baby’s surname should be that of the father’s. We informed the mother that in the event she did not agree, as soon as the baby was born, the father had the right to make an emergency application to Court for a Prohibited Steps Order that the mother should be prohibited from attending to register the birth without the father and a Specific Issue Order that the child’s surname should be registered as that of the father’s. After corresponding with the mother, she agreed to attend to register the birth with the father, to ensure his details were registered and to give the child his father’s surname.