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Adding my name to the birth certificate?

I realised recently that my name is not on the birth certificate. I want to add it on but she will not allow it. Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM)


I am a father who has been paying child support for 6 years. I have just realised resently that my name is not on the birth certificate. I want to add it on but she will not allow it. I dont think it is fair. How can i go about it and can i do withouy her knowing?
Generally a fairly straight forward exercise if both parents agree. If in NSW contact BDM or at least visit their web site Add fathers details to Birth Certificate Each parent must provide at least three (3) individual forms of identification from the list provided and submit with the application.

The issue is that BOTH parents must sign this form. In your situation she says she won't allow it. I would suggest that you bring to her attention that there are severe penalties for failing to correctly fill in the initial registration forms. It has long been a frustration that BDM do not adequately prosecute cases where a mother refuses to supply the details of the father and where the father has requested the addition.

Unfortunately hospitals have a tendancy to deal only with the mother in regard to the "paper work" surrounding a birth and documents are generally given to the mother not both parents, nor is there any discussion with both parents about the birth registration process. Often the father has no idea there are any documents that require both parents to fill in. We have been writing to some hospital boards about this poor practice and lack of procedure.
If you knowingly provide false information in this statutory declaration, you may be guilty of an offence under Section 57 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995.

Section 57  False representation
A person who makes a representation in an application, notice or document under this Act or in response to a notice under section 44 of this Act (Registrars powers of inquiry), knowing the representation to be false or misleading in a material particular, is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment, or both.
I have made an enquiry with BDM as to the monetary value of a penalty unit as it is not described on their site.

If you are in a situation the other parent will not sign then you will need to get a Judicial determination made at a local Magistrates court (Although I have not been involved in any proceedings at a local court in this regard, I have no reason to suspect it could not be something they could not deal with) or a Federal Magistrate to make an order for the documents to be completed.

Note that until you are on the Birth Certificate you cannot get one.
Who can access these details or purchase a birth certificate?

Only the people mentioned on the birth certificate may purchase that specific birth certificate. This includes the mother, father (if listed), or child. Some information may also be used for important medical research and community planning purposes but it is kept strictly confidential and only you, your child, or a legal guardian can purchase a copy of the Birth Certificate.

In relation to costs you will find that there is a fee of around $105.00 includes issue of Standard Birth Certificate via Registered post. This fee is not shown in the master fees area of BDM and I have written asking them to correct that. You will need to pay that fee. I suspect you might have a go at claiming that cost back in a NAP but that's another story.

One last point. In the old certificate (Prior to the amendments made in 2008 after the debacle to take fathers names off birth certificates was defeated thanks to Fred Nile and others) there were two ways you can be added to a certificate. You can have a notation in the "General Notes" section (Box 8) as father name is xyz, and the father field remained blank OR you can have the father field amended and filled in. I have been informed that it is not automatic that the "father" field is filled in. I am not sure why this is the case and further investigation is required. You need to get a copy of the latest blank certificate and see what the new form fields look like (If you do please post it here). They will only provide a fax copy of a blank form because there are concerns with copying of the master.

Check that your details will be inserted into the field marked father.

Since the changes came through last year they may have also made some field changes to the forms to accommodate same sex couples.
The Miscellaneous Act Amendment (Same Sex Relationships) Act came into effect on 17 September 2008. Subject to the requirements of the Act, both women in a same sex de facto relationship may now be recognised on their child's birth certificate.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Guest said

I am a father who has been paying child support for 6 years. I have just realised resently that my name is not on the birth certificate. I want to add it on but she will not allow it. I dont think it is fair. How can i go about it and can i do withouy her knowing?

If the mother refuses to accept or allow your name on the birth certificate, then, as Secretary has stated, it will need to be resolved in court.
Personally, i prefer the superior Jurisdiction of the Federal Magistrates Court.
Perhaps it be best to first determine the biological status of the child for confirmation and peace of mind.
some interesting reading;


One penalty unit is $110-

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"
Thanks for the reply Dominik. It would be interesting to see how they determine the application of the "penalty Units" and how they get any one to pay?

I have had some email exchange today with BDM in relation to how this is applied, some statistics around prosecutions, a copy of the new certificate and some updates to the fee structure on their web site which is quite lacking. I had a lot of dealings with BDM previously and I have no reason to expect that we will not get the information sought as they have (in the past) been very helpfull and are a pretty good bunch.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity

The Law, penalties (fines) and "Penatly Units"

Much of our legislation, both federal and state, describes fines and penatlies is terms of "penalty units". Another piece of legislation (separate for Federal and each State Jusridiction) defines the monetary value of a "Penalty Unit". In some case the defining lergislation simply states that a "Penalty Unit" will be what ever the current relavent regulation says it is.

The back ground is most probaly that somewhere along the line in the dim dark distant past some bright spark pointed out that legislatively defined fines become irrelevent with time in an inflationary world. Simply the real value of the fine became erroded with time. It was probably the same bright spark that pointed out changing each individual piece of legislation was inefficient and time consuming (A bit like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge - it needs repainting before they finish the previous coat) and suggested "Penalty Units". Parliament simply needs to ammend a single Act to change all fines(Those defined in terms of penalty units). Where the legislation refers the definition of the "penalty unit" to regulation, it is even simpler, the government decides to change the amount of the penalty unit and tells the Govenor (or GG) who signs off on it. All fines are increased.

On the issue of naming the Father on the Birth Certificate, I know of cases wher the father has sought to be included on the brth certificate and it has been so orders. I even know of one case where it was ordered the children have the step fathers name and the children's birth certificate be ammended to list the step father as the father (previosly no father was listed).

It is important to remember that the area of proven biological fatherhood is very new in the eyes of the law and until the advent of the DNA test was legally defined in number of other ways (And still is! unless rebutted by DNA evidence)

A useful read on the matter of parentage is Dvision 12 Sections 69P-69ZD of the Family Law Act.

On the issue f a penalty for ommision of the father's name on an application to register a birth. As I understand it, there is no legal requirement at state level to name the father to register the birth therefore a person completing said application and ommitting the fathers name could not be prosecuted as the ommision would not be seen as "providing" a false declaration, hence no penalty could be imposed.

Now for the nitty gritty - Registering the Father in face of opposition from the Mother.

Check out


Registration of parentage details

18 Registration of parentage detailsThe Registrar must not include registrable information about the identity of a child's parent in the Register unless:

(a) both parents of the child make a joint application for the inclusion of the information, or
(b) one parent of the child makes an application for the inclusion of the information and the other parent cannot join in the application because he or she is dead or cannot be found, or for some other reason, or
one parent of the child makes an application for the inclusion of the information and the Registrar is satisfied that the other parent does not dispute the correctness of that information, or
(d) a court orders the inclusion of the information in the Register, or
(e) a court makes a finding that a particular person is a parent of the child, or
(f) the Registrar is entitled under any law (including a law of another State or the Commonwealth) to make a presumption as to the identity of the child's parent, or
(g) the regulations authorise the Registrar to include the information.



Orders for registration of birth or inclusion of registrable information

19 Orders for registration of birth or inclusion of registrable information
(1) The District Court may, on application by an interested person or on its own initiative, order:
(a) the registration of a birth, or
(b) the inclusion of registrable information about a birth or a child's parents (including details of the marriage of a child's parents) in the Register.
(1A) Such an order may only be made in respect of a birth:
(a) in the case of an order under subsection (1) (a), if the birth occurred in the State, in an aircraft during a flight to an airport in the State or on a ship during a voyage to a port in the State, and
(b) in the case of an order under subsection (1) (b), if the birth has been registered under this Act.
(2) If any court (including any court of another State or the Commonwealth) makes a finding about a birth or a child's parents, the court may order registration of the birth or inclusion of registrable information about the birth or the parents in the Register.

The bottom line is it shouldn't be too difficult to have yourself registered as the father

Last edit: by oneadadc

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!

Standard Birth Certificate examples

BDM in NSW have been extremely helpful and provided some examples of the certificates. There are five certificates attached.

The fields that will be of interest are numbers 2, 3 and 8. For Mums and Dads, these fields have not changed, the mother will always be field 2 and the father will always be field 3 when you first register.

Where father is unknown or not listed when the certificate is first registered and an AMENDED certificate is requested later and issued you need to be mindful that unless you request to be entered into field 3 (Father) you can end up as an ENDORSEMENT notation. i.e Father is aaa bbb.  This may or may not be acceptable to some fathers. You will need a court order where the mother does not agree.

For same sex mothers, these fields are options.  However, the birth mother will always appear in field 2 and there will be a notation in field 8.

The Council amongst a range of groups spent considerable time trying to make sure the father was listed on certificates even where same sex couples were the "parents". It seems to me we lost that battle looking at the certificate examples.


Heterosexual parents
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Same sex parents - option for two mothers
773 views (162 KB)

Same sex parents - option for two parents
454 views (158 KB)

Same sex parents - option for mother and parent
420 views (156 KB)

Same sex parents - option for parent and mother
456 views (153 KB)

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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What court form is req'd to lodge an application with the FCWA to have a Fathers details included on the childs birth certificate ? Like so many other Fathers suffered a bitter seperation and for reasons unknown ( one can only assume spite ) my name was not included on the birth certificate even though I was at the childs birth, the doctor filled out the birth details of the child and used my name as the surname, but I didnt rate a mention on the Birth certificate. I also have DNA evidence to prove I am the father, and would just like my details included, and the child to share our surnames ( trying to be amicable ).
You are best to call 08 922 48222 - Family Court of WA for procedural advise.
The FCoWA is a State Court and procedures differ from the FCoA which is of course Federal.

I suggest you also give the Births Deaths and Marriages office in WA a call and see what their view is. Please let us know how you get on.

I find it quite incredible that fathers still have to go to such extreme lengths to simply get registered on a Birth Certificate where a mother through forgetfulness or overlooking the legal obligation to have the father advised on the lodgement forms or  simply spiteful and refuses to add the fathers name added to the form. Or lists the father as unknown when clearly that is not the case.  In the Eastern States we would lodge with the Federal Magistrates Court. In WA that is not available to you so please let us know how you progress this issue.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
Guest said
I am a father who has been paying child support for 6 years.
I don't think the fact that you have been paying CS has any relevance to your name not appearing on the Birth Certificate.           Reason:  Money of no money…you are still the father!!

Guest said
I have just realised recently that my name is not on the birth certificate. I want to add it on but she will not allow it. I don't think it is fair. How can i go about it and can i do without her knowing?
I am beginning to wonder if laws may have changed in regards to 2 signatures etc  Reason: The process of not naming the father (at least in VIC) seems to be rather exhaustive even when you do include the fathers name but have no contact details for him.

Also regarding the registration laws/process, I'm wondering too how many of these certificates were issued at a time when the couples were still together.  Reason: In this instance I would be assuming that in most cases the father was present at the birth and if I recall correctly (here in VIC at least) after my first was born the hospital staff actually came over, filled in the details (I think I read somewhere another person mention that the doctor filled theirs out) and we i.e. my ex and I, were just asked to sign.  The information exchange was mostly verbal.

Just Vic's (not sure about other States.

If a child has not been registered yet and you are not satisfied with the Registry process (e.g. they won't recognise you as the father etc) this is under State Jurisdiction i.e. you would need to apply at the County Court

After the child has already been registered then it falls under Federal so to have the Birth Certificate altered you would need to apply to the Family Courts

I hope you can have this oversight rectified soon Guest!!


"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable
Hi All,

I spoke to BDM today, they have informed me that I can fill out an application form to have my details included on the birth cert, but unless the mother agrees/signs it, we will have to go through the court system, but first try through mediation. It turns out my DNA results were no use to BDM because the mother didnt comply with the fam law act, where she was supposed to have her affidavit and samples taken on the same day, hers were done one day apart so therefore my DNA results cannot be used to have my details included on the Birth Certificate.
I have organised a appointment through mediation to hopefully come to some agreement about this, but if not it will likely end up in court.I would like for my details ( surname ) to be included with the mothers aswell but don't even know if this is a possibility. I did seek some legal advice, but the solicitor informed me he would only be speculating about the outcome.
So I guess I'd better strap myself in cause it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Hi Spock

Can you point me to the relevant area of the FLA where Mum is supposed to have the affidavit and DNA swabs (swabs i'm assuming). I am  assuming that the swabs were processed through the Path Center over there in WA if you are metro, and not through another provider. This being the case the Path Center retains a custody log in which the technicians use for affidavits of verification. 

Dependant upon your location however there are different processes for DNA processing if you are in a regional location. Broome, Geraldton and Albany have different custody chain processes when it comes to these matters due to amongst other things the tyranny of distance. I am thinking of one of these locations as to the issue that you have been given through experiences other than Family Law matters I have had. Should this be the case there are policies in place with the relevant providers which are easily accessible on Google.

Hope this helps some.
Hi Schultz,

I'm not sure of the section in the Act that states this but that is what is written on the bottom of the page the results were presented on and the testing of the swab samples was carried out in Melbourne I'm led to believe not in W.A. . I distinctly remember reading in the paperwork from the DNA testing company the guidelines to follow to correctly have the swabs/paperwork completed, and in there somewhere it did say to have the Affidavit signed and samples taken on the same day, but obviously she did not follow the guidelines as laid out for whatever reason, but BDM have informed me that they are unable to use the results to include my details on the birth Certificate because of this small technical fault. Correction the statement reads
I further report that the mother and child's Form 2 Affidavit was not sworn on the same day as sample collection, a requirement prescribed in the Family Law Regulations.
I spoke to a member of this testing company today and they informed me that the samples were good for 3 days maximum before they would ask for more swabs to be taken. I mean the results are conclusive but I'm not sure if they would stand up in the Family Court.

Hi Spock

Did the company ask to see your ID when they took your sample and note it on a form?
Hi Schultz,

The process was to get passport size photos taken, then  prior to having the swabs done ( same day ) we were to have a JP  sign/swear our affidavits with the pics and a completed affidavit, then take that to the hospital and produce that prior to the swabs being taken, then have the swabs taken then observe the MP place the labels on the sample tubes, and put the samples plus affidavit into a satchel to be sent via courier to the testing facility. thats how I remember it happening anyway, I believe after reading the regulation 21F 1, that the process was carried out within the guidelines of the Fam Law Regs except that the other party had their Affidavit sworn a day earlier to having the samples taken.That is the only part that doesnt comply with the regs as stated.

Hi Spock

I need to identify first, that this is stepping into interpretations so don't take this as solid advice, but merely something that you can work from to do some further research.

21F identifies:
 A sampler must not take a bodily sample from a donor unless the donor (bold for emphasis)

My reading of this, in conjunction with the disclaimer in Form 2 of Schedule 1, is that this relates to a restriction upon the sampler to ensure that they don't commit a trespass upon the person. In other words the mere taking of a swab from a person is viewed as an assault upon the person when you consider that an assault is, 'The application of force to the person of another without consent' the mere pressing of the swab is an application of force and is therefore technically an assault. Therefore by obtaining the affidavit there is a protective mechanism for the sampler which removes the lack of consent issue.

My reading is that while the literal approach has not been taken to the regs, this would not invalidate the testing procedure. The onus is on the sampler not you or your partner.

Someone may clarify or correct me if I am wrong on this point, but that is the avenue I would be looking at, should it be a problem to have the procedure undertaken again with relative ease. I would do some quick searches on on the words in the section to see if there is any authority already in place.
Hi Schultz,

I paid for the original procedure and do not want to fork out again for this,plus I believe I would meet some heavy resistance from the other party in regard to repeating the procedure. I will look into the technicalities of the procedure and try to find out whether the results would be conclusive enough to be used in the FCWA. If they are not I will be looking at enquiring into having the company repeat the procedure free of charge. Either way I feel it will be extremely difficult unless the court order another test as thats quite possibly what it will take to have the other party participate.I have read the regulation again and I see what youre saying.

DNA is never conclusive, it is a fact more than probable. But I know what you are talking about when you say that, I can not see any reason why the testing would not be admissible, perhaps there may be some argument, in this regard its necessary to find the authorities to support your case. Have a look for the authorities, as it wont be as frequent as BIC let me know if you hit a hurdle.

Hi Spock,

The main centre in Vic that carries out DNA testing is called Genetic Technologies.  This laboratory also carries out much of the DNA work for the NSW forensic department.  There are several other places that DNA tests can be done in Vic however so this might not have been where yours was done.  Schultz is correct, DNA tests are never 100% conclusive however the results are based on a small error margin (not sure what the exact percentage is) so if your results say that you are the father then you fall within that margin.

According to Genetic Technologies there are 2 types of DNA tests that are performed, one that is Legally Standing and the other that has No Legal Standing.  The distinct difference between these 2 tests is that the Legally Standing one is carried out by a third party (the sample is taken by a third party) and identification of all parties to the test must be shown, while the test with No Legal Standing is basically a "home pack" and samples are collected externally and brought in by one of the parties.  Although both tests are subject to the same experimental conditions i.e. both will generate the same results, it is the method of sample collection that sets them apart.  Reason: the samples for the home pack have not been verified and could have been manipulated (swapped).  The Legally Standing test is also much more expensive than the other one.

If your test fell under the same conditions as the Legally Standing one and you can prove this (maybe an email from the company that did it…you should still be on record) then it will hold up in Court.


"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable
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