You can change the name on the birth certificate of a child. This will have to be done in the vast bulk of cases via a DNA paternity test. Having the names of the right parents is very important – the reason is obvious. The father that is registered on the certificate is the father that is legally bound to providing child support. The legal DNA test is often done to aid in speeding up the process of changing the name on the birth certificate.
If the couple are Married
When a couple is married, they are both automatically assumed to be the parents. The father is registered as the biological father of the child- his name goes down on the birth certificate. Of course, marital infidelity does occur – if there is a suspicion that the father on the birth certificate is not the father a paternity DNA test can be carried out to be confirm this. The test would need to be presented in court. The judge overseeing the case has, of course, the prerogative to decide how to act on the results of the DNA test.
Importantly you cannot do a peace of mind (home paternity test) to present in court – the results of a home paternity test are not court admissible simply due to the fact that DNA samples are collected by the parties being tested themselves and there is no neutral third party to ensure that no body has cheated, unintentionally switched samples or made an errors in filing out the paper work. A paternity test of this type has no legal validity. You will need a Legal DNA Paternity Test if you need results to stand in court.
In some countries there are very serious laws governing DNA sample collection. For example, in the UK, there is the Human Tissue Act which makes it unlawful to collect DNA from anybody without their explicit consent.
Fathers who Wish to be Named on the Birth Certificates
If the father was not married to the mother of the child things get a bit more complex. So yes, a father can believe himself to be the father but will need to go to court and prove a relationship with the mother in order to prove that the child could be his. The mother could well be unsure of the identity of the biological father – in this case a legal paternity test will need to be carried out to confirm whether the alleged father is actually the biological father of the child. Once the DNA test results show he is the father, the father’s name can be added on the child’s birth certificate.
In cases of couples that are not married, a DNA test will be required as proof of paternity in court. At the birth of the child, the father can sign a declaration stating that he is the father of the child. Without the father’s consent, a mother cannot register a father.
For the moment the child is born there a six week time gap; in this time gap the mother of the child has ample time to register a father on the child’s birth certificate. A father cannot register himself without the mother’s permission. If there are any doubts, the 6 week gap leaves ample time to carry out a peace of mind paternity test to confirm if the man wishing to be registered on the birth certificate of the child if actually the biological father of the child.
The name of one man can be removed from a birth certificate and the name of another put in the place of it. Changing the name on a birth certificate is serious business. Paternity testing is often necessary.