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Can a DNA Test change a Birth Certificate?

Paternity Testing
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Paternity Testing

Birth Certificates

The people named on a child's birth certificate are important because they gain parental responsibility for that child. It is important then, for the right people to be named. The process of altering a completed birth certificate is an important matter and requires the correct legal jurisdiction for it to be carried out. In many cases, a legal Paternity Test can help move along this process and put the matter behind you, so you and the father can raise the child in peace.

Married Couples

When a married couple have a child, the mother and the father are automatically placed on the birth certificate. This is because the government assumes that because the two are married, the father is the biological father. If there is any suspicion about this assumption, a DNA paternity test can clear any doubts. A standard peace of mind Paternity test will not hold up in court anymore, so if you wish to remove the father's name from the birth certificate, you would need a legally recognised DNA test.

Under UK law, a person needs to give consent to have a DNA test. Taking someone's DNA without written consent is an illegal offence and will cause all evidence to be null and void. When you do have written consent from the father, the procedure can go ahead with a simple cheek swab taken at your local GP or by an authorised nurse. After the results are produced, the court can then use this information when they decide to alter the certificate.

In addition to this, if there is another man who you do believe to be the biological father, you can issue legal DNA testing for him and his name could be added to the certificate, in the place of the original.

What if the couple are not married?

When an unmarried couple have a child, the father must be present at the birth and sign a declaration stating he is the father. A DNA test is not required to put the father's name down on the certificate, but you can take a standard peace of mind DNA Paternity test to prove that he is the father, so you can comfortably put his name down without any doubts.

There is a six week window from when the child is born to the deadline for birth certificates to be handed in. This is a long enough time period for you to complete a DNA test and receive the results proving whether he is the father or not. In the event of the supposed father proven to not be the biological father, the mother reserves the right to leave the space on the certificate blank, without any penalty.

Fathers wanting to be named on Birth Certificate

For fathers not named on the birth certificate, they can seek legal advice if they believe themselves to be the biological father. If the mother is unwilling to put his name down on the certificate because she is unsure of the validity of his claims, a legal Paternity test can clear any doubt and help assist with the changing of the certificate. Even if he is proven to not be the father, the court can assess whether he has regular contact with the child and the quality of this contact, when they come to a decision regarding a change to the birth certificate.

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