Family Blog Post

How to add a deceased father’s name to a child’s birth certificate?

This is a Family Law matter. The question is whether the applicant should contact the Register Office directly to add a deceased father’s name to a child’s birth certificate or court. It is, basically, amending the Birth Register and on request issuing a Birth Certificate after the amendment. It involves Declaration of Parentage with the facts and evidence. It will officially establish the father’s name and identity. It is not every time likely for the father to be present at the hospital at the time of a child’s birth. It means that the father’s name cannot be added at the time of birth due to absence or the mother does not want to include it at that time for any good reason. Later, if the mother, child after coming to the age of majority, or the father wants to add the father’s name, it can be added by re-registering the birth of a child if the father is alive. However, if the father dies before the child’s birth or after the child’s birth and his name is not included at the time of birth, it can be added later through legal process. There can be several reasons at the time of birth for not including the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate. The point is that whatever was the reason, it can be added at a later stage even after the death of the father. Here we are discussing only adding a deceased fathers name to a child’s birth certificate posthumously. The question is how?

First, the mother or the child after the age of majority cannot request the Register Office to add a deceased father’s name to a child’s birth certificate because the father is not alive to sign a Statutory Declaration of Acknowledgement of Parentage form and re-registration is not a viable option. The proper procedure is to apply to the Family Court under section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 for the Declaration of Parentage. The applicant can be a mother or a child. The applicant must provide material facts and evidence to support the claim of father’s name and identity. The applicant can provide the DNA test result to support the claim if the applicant can access the deceased father’s DNA sample stored in a hospital record for medical reasons or taken particularly at the time of death for that purpose. The matching DNA test samples can be taken from the siblings of the deceased father if there is no disagreement or dispute in family relations.

Additionally, the Court assuming the question to be resolved in the Directions Hearing may order for further hearing. The court verifies the parentage in question with the material facts and evidence supplied. The court may order for DNA test of the deceased if sample available in the hospital’s records or sample from the siblings to match it with the child’s DNA to confirm the biological parentage. On successful conclusion of the father’s name and identity, the court establishes parentage of the child. The court issues a Declaration of Parentage and can send an order to the General Register Office to amend the Birth Record of the child. The applicant can request the Register Office for re-issuance of the amended Birth Certificate.

So, the deceased father’s name can be added to the child’s birth certificate posthumously through a court procedure. Knowing the name of father and getting it officially declared by the court will help a child for identity and medical reasons, as well as Will and estate management


For assistance in any family matters, please contact our family law team on 0203 5000 699 or e-mail us on

Shahid Azeem

26 October 2021