Register a birth

Who can register a birth

See how to register a birth based on your marital status:

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility for your child gives you important legal rights as well as responsibilities. Without it, you don’t have any right to be involved in decisions such as where the child lives, their education, religion or medical treatment.

Unlike mothers, married fathers or fathers in a civil partnership with the baby's mother, if you are not married to or in a civil partnership with the baby’s mother, you do not automatically have parental responsibility for them.

With parental responsibility, you're treated in law as the child’s parent and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.

You can also get parental responsibility by:

  • marrying or entering into a civil partnership with the child’s mother
  • signing an official agreement with the mother
  • getting a court order

This might be something to bear in mind if you have other children.

Family Lives has a free helpline where you can talk through the options and ask for advice.