A birth must be registered by one of the child's parents. In a case where the parents are married to each other, only one parent need visit the registrar and either the mother or father may choose to register the birth.
Where the parents are not married to each other but both parents' names are to appear on the birth entry, both parents should visit the registrar together, to register the birth. If either parent is unable to be present at the time of registration, the parents should contact the registrar, who will explain how the birth may be registered. If the father's name is not to appear on the child's birth certificate, the mother should register the birth alone.
A woman who is not married to, or in a civil partnership with, the mother can only register the birth and be named in the register as parent if the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 apply to them and:
- She jointly signs the register with the mother;
- She and the mother sign declarations (these are available from the registrar) that she is the parent; or
- A court declares that she is the parent and the mother registers the birth.
In a situation where the mother has decided to register the birth alone but both parents later wish the natural father's name to be added, this may be done at any time in the future. Any local registrar will explain how this may be done.