You may be able to change a birth record after the original registration has taken place by re-registration. A birth can be re-registered to either include the natural father's details or where parents later marry each other.

The birth must have been in England or Wales and should be re-registered at the register office where the birth was originally registered. If you cannot return to where the baby was originally registered, you can give the details for the registration to any register office in England or Wales.

If natural father's details were not included on the original registration

If parents were not married to each other and the father did not attend with the mother to register the baby, it is possible to register the birth at any time in the future to include father's details in the birth register and to change the surname of the child if required. Birth certificates may be purchased.

If the surname is to be changed and the child is aged 16 or over at the time of registration, a letter of consent from the child agreeing to the change will need to accompany the application for re-registration. Both parents would need to complete form GRO185 .

If parents have married each other since the birth was registered

The birth should be re-registered to record the current legal status of the child, even if the father's details were recorded on the original birth registration.

Form LA1 is available for parents to complete and sign. Your marriage certificate should accompany the application. If your marriage took place outside of England or Wales the application will have to be submitted to the General Register Office for approval.

The child's surname may be changed during this process and birth certificates can be purchased. Please note that if the surname is to be changed and the child is aged 16 or over, a letter of consent from the child agreeing to the change of name will need to accompany the application for re-registration.

For more information please contact Life and family.

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