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Baby & Toddler, Life, Wedding

Have you recently got married? Did you know you may need to register the birth again? | Reasons why re-registering a birth after marriage might be your legal obligation

Re-registering a birth after marriage - image shows a child aged around three years of age.

Did you know that re-registering a birth after marriage may be your legal obligation? I didn’t. Here, I cover everything you need to know about this law, which doesn’t seem to be particularly well known. If you had a child before you got hitched, then you may have to re-register a birth.

Is re-registering a birth after marriage essential?

If you have a child together and then get married, or you enter into a civil partnership after your child was born, they you’re legally required to re-register the birth. If the father is already on your child’s birth certificate, then you still need to do this.

This law, which seems to be relatively unknown, stems from The Legitimacy Act 1976. If the natural mother and the natural father marry after the child is born, they will need to fill in a LA1 form.

Why is it important to do this if you’ve just got married?

The requirement to re-register was introduced as the legitimacy of a child would affect inheritance. This has now changed, so your child will be entitled, as long as they can prove their parentage. However, the Legitimacy Act still exists and nobody would want their child to have to prove legitimacy after their death, so it makes sense to fill the form out.

The purpose of the re-registration is to prove they are a “child of the marriage”. This form doesn’t affect the father’s paternal rights if he is named on the original birth certificate.

How much does it cost to register your child for a second time?

Re-registration doesn’t cost anything, but technically you can be fined if it isn’t done. However, receiving a fine is pretty much unheard of.

What documents do I need for a second birth registration?

In order to apply for a re-registration of birth (which is your parental responsibility), you will need to send off the following items:

  • Your child’s full birth certificate.
  • Your marriage, or civil partnership certificate.
  • Any document asked for in Section 5 of the form (relating to a court order).
  • If the child or a parent is not living, the death certificate(s) if available.

Should you make an appointment at the register office?

An appointment at your general register office is not required. You simply have to send off your completed a LA1 form.

I wasn’t aware that re-registering a birth after marriage was a legal requirement. If you have children, make sure you add this onto your post-wedding checklist. And if you decide on a change of surname, this guide will help you to navigate the legalities!

Hacks - why re-registering a birth after marriage may be your legal obligation