Family Law: I’m not listed on my child’s birth certificate – what can I do?


The Vital Statistics Act requires that the birth of a child must be reported within 30 days.  In some circumstances, only one parent may report the birth.  For a variety of reasons when that happens, that parent may not report the particulars of the other parent.

Not being listed on your child’s birth certificate is understandably upsetting.  From a legal stand point, it is also beneficial for a child to have both parents listed on his or her birth certificate as this can impact the child’s right in some cases (e.g., in intestate succession).

The Vital Statistics Act sets out the procedures for amending a child’s registration of birth and birth certificate.

The simplest procedure is, if the parents together (or the parent who originally reported the birth) apply to the Ministry of Vital Statistics to change the registration.  This is done by filling out a form and paying the applicable fee.

If the parent who originally reported cannot, or will not, cooperate with you in making such an application, you can apply on your own.  However, this application will need to be accompanied by an Order of the court declaring that you are parent of the child.  Unfortunately, an Order that you are a guardian and have parenting time with the child may not be enough if there has not been an Order specifically declaring you a parent.

A parentage declaration Order can be obtained in either Provincial Court, or Supreme Court.  In order to obtain a parentage declaration, a paternity test many need to occur.  Both levels of court have jurisdiction to order this as well.

If you would like to book an appointment with any of our family law lawyers, namely Kathleen Sugiyama, Christopher Murphy or Nathan Seaward, please contact Heath Law LLP at 250-753-2202.