Can I remove the Father from the Birth Certificate? (FAQ)

This is a FAQ post.  These are the most popular answers to a real question asked on The Imperfect Mum. 

I have a question regarding removing my children’s father’s name from their birth certificate. Long story short, I escaped a very violent, manipulative and controlling relationship and the children haven’t seen him for almost 3 years. I feared for their safety. I am considering a few ways to remove his parental responsibility, one being removing his name involuntarily from their birth certificates. What would I need to do or research to be sure this is the right avenue for us? Our other considered option is my fiance to adopt them – would it be better/easiest if we were married? Thank you and kind regards

Regardless of how much of an asshole he is you cant change the fact that he is and always will be the bio dad. I had the same thing 20yrs ago. I have always been honest with my son about the facts. I did regret this at times but now my boy is 20, his dad is a lonely old man and my son has gotten to know him a little, regardless of the truth he has been given a chance.
Its my boys choice as an adult and he wants this. He knows the truth and I am ok about their getting to know each other as adults. I have faith and what ever happens my boy knows regardless of anything I am there to support him.
His father was violent and had very little to do with him growing up. Whatever choice YOU make for your children with their best interest at heart will be the right choice. You can not protect them from the hard cold facts and truth but you can support them through the tough stuff with love.

The father would have to sign the adoption papers so that’s out. I’m not being negative, but I do not think you should remove his name from the birth certificate. Your kids have the right to know who their father is and if they want to persue a relationship in the future with him that’s their choice. He will always be there father no matter what and nobody should try to change that.

Even though my daughters biological father is on her birth certificate that’s the only link he has. She’s enrolled at school under my husbands name so I don’t really see the point fighting through court to remove his name. The real father is the one who is there every day and loves the child.

While he is still living u can’t remove his name without his consent

My eldest child’s father walked away and I can’t even change her surname without his consent!!!

Courts can rule in absence of bio fathers signature in certain circumstances. In my opinion, it should never be taken lightly when considering removing bio parents from birth certificate, regardless of why you want to. It’s an important link to the child’s history/ancestry in years to come & can be very important in tracing medical history, genetics etc.
Never a good idea to ‘bend the branches’ on a family tree. Just my thoughts on the matter. Best wishes.

Why does it matter if his name is on the birth certificate? They barely see the light of day. You only use them really for identification purposes. I haven’t looked at mine for at least 5 years. I don’t even know where it is.

I feel for you but coming from a situation like this, my mum could count on one hand how many times I had seen him then he was gone. I didn’t see him again till I was 18. He wasn’t on my birth certificate so I had to rely on my mum to find him, which was hard.
I know he wasn’t in my life and is a really arse but I still kind of think he should have been on my birth certificate even though I would have loved my step dad who is the only man I count as my father to have legally been my dad.
But please consider the affects on your children later! You may be able to erase him for now, but it won’t be forever, not for them. I would leave him on the certificate.
But your partner adopting them is a fantastic idea and showing them there is a man who loves them goodluck with it all xx

I’d be seeking legal advise. You don’t wanna go off someones personal experiences because they all differ. Legal aid should be able to help you get a consult on what your options are. I have heard of in this sort of situation, the mother and new man get married and change ALL the kids last names to the new husbands. Makes it abit more difficult to find you guys then

Seek legal advice from a family lawyer. It can get messy and I’d hate for you to be pointed in the wrong direction when you’re already in a crappy situation. Yes, it will cost a bit to get legal advice, but i can guarantee you it will be worth it !!

Posted in:  FAQ

3 Replies


i agree with you.. i was in a violent relationship with the biological father to my two oldest children and when i got out i was the happiest now i have a husband who adores my kids like their own and even tho i had another child which is his daughter he still manages not to single out either one. however even tho we werent together i still gave him the benefit of the doubt and let him be involved with his kids and then my baby girl came back molested and was scared to tell me because she knew i was be upset. and it was then that i didnt want my child to ever be involved in that situtation. and all along he is a big meth head and an alcoholic not to mention he is now incarcerated for murder and it makes it more easier for me to want all ties cut.

Melissa Mohr

Hi Bec Id be interested to know how you went about getting your child enrolled under your husband name not the biological name? Did you have to go to court to change her name legally??

Leah McDougall

I want to know this also cuz I gave them (the school) his birth certificate and his last name is his bio dads and I hate saying it or writing it down its so irritating because he hasn't seen him in years (my fiance has been his dad for nearly 5yrs) I want my son to have my last name I have his library card under my last name lol