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Should you re-register your child's birth if you marry?

View profile for Clive Masters
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Family law specialist Clive Masters sets the record straight.            

The question of whether to re-register a child’s birth if the natural parents subsequently marry can be confusing.

According to the Legitimacy Act 1976, if the natural parents marry after their child was born, they are required to re-register the birth to have the natural father's details added to the birth record. This is done using  form LA1.  A failure to do so can result in prosecution. This is a somewhat archaic law with roots in a bygone era. It was required so the child could be recognised as a “child of the family” for inheritance purposes.

In practical terms the law is inconsequential since a failure to re-register a child’s birth after the marriage affects neither the child’s rights nor the father’s parental responsibility which he will have provided his name was on the child’s birth certificate, but the law still exists.

For more information and expert legal advice on family matters, contact me at our Halifax office on 01422 339602 or email


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