Re-register a birth

There are various circumstances when a birth may need to be re-registered.

Re-registering a birth following a marriage or civil partnership 

By law, in England or Wales, if the natural parents of a child have married after the birth of the child, the birth must be re-registered.

Similarly, if a baby was born to two female parents under the conditions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 there are provisions to re-register the birth following the marriage or civil partnership of those two female parents.

To re-register the birth, all of the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • the child was born in England or Wales (not stillborn)
  • the existing birth entry identifies the correct man as the father or the father's details were left blank or identifies the correct second female parent or those details were left blank.
  • the parents have married or formed a civil partnership after the birth of the child and a marriage or civil partnership certificate is available
  • the child was living at the date of the parents' marriage or civil partnership
  • the child has not been legally adopted
  • one parent attends a register office in England or Wales to re-register
  • the application form is completed and signed

Re-registering a birth without a marriage or civil partnership

If you didn't put the baby's father or second female parent's details in the register when you registered the birth you may add the details at a later stage.

If you have not married the father or married or formed a civil partnership with the second female parent you may have the details added in the following circumstances:

  • the parents attend together to give joint information for the re-registration and to sign the new entry, or
  • either parent attends alone and produces a statutory declaration made by the other parent stating who is the father or second female parent of the child, or
  • either parent attends alone and produces a copy of a parental responsibility agreement made by the parents in respect of the child, or
  • either parent attends alone and produces a certified copy of a relevant court order, or
  • the Form GRO185 has been completed by one or both parents

In both the above circumstances there may be occasions when the re-registration can be authorised locally or some cases where the case will have to be referred to the Registrar General for authorisation. Registrars will advise you accordingly.

Re-registration form

You can request a re-registration form online

Alternatively, you can contact the register office.

The re-registration will be carried out free of charge, but you may wish to obtain a copy birth certificate for the new entry. For costs visit the certificate fees page.

Re-registering a birth in other circumstances via a Declaration of Parentage

If a father, who is not married to the mother of a baby, dies before the baby is born or registered, and so is not able to acknowledge paternity, or in various other circumstances where a parent may not acknowledge parentage, it is possible to petition the courts for a Declaration of Parentage.

This procedure may also be used where incorrect details relating to paternity have been entered in the register so a petition for a Declaration of Non-Parentage may be made.

You should seek legal advice in these circumstances but if this procedure is followed the courts will advise the Registrar General if a re-registration can be made and birth will be re-registered on the instructions from the court.

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