If at the time of the registration of your child's birth your name was not included as "Father" on his or her birth certificate, it can still be inserted at a later time. In Trinidad and Tobago there are a few avenues to do so.
1. The Registrar may re-register the birth to include the father's name on the birth certificate on the joint request or declaration of both parents.
According to section 21 (2) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act:
If on registration of the birth of a child born out of wedlock, no name of a person has been entered in the register as the father, the Registrar may re-register the birth so as to show a person as the father. However, this can only happen:
2. If the child’s parents were married after the registration of the birth, the Registrar General can authorise the entry in the register of the name of the father.
According to section 21 (3) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, if the child’s parents were married after the registration of the child's birth, the Registrar General shall authorise the entry in the register of the name of the father so that it appears on the child's birth certificate.
3. The Registrar General may insert the name of the Father on a child's birth certificate if a paternity order in respect of the child has been made by the court.
Under section 10 of the Status of Children Act, a purported father (or any person having a proper interest) may apply to the High Court for a declaration of paternity, and if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court that the relationship of father and child exists, the Court may make a paternity order. This application usually has to be supported by evidence such as a DNA test. Once the paternity order is made by the court, it can be presented to the Registrar General. She will authorise the entry in the Register of the name of the father so that it appears on the child's birth certificate. This method does not require the consent or agreement of the mother of the child.
Important Notice: This post does not constitute or provide legal advice. Always consult with a suitably qualified attorney-at-law on any legal problem or issue.
Law For All is managed by the AURORA Chambers Legal Practice.
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