Changes to Birth Records

Making a change to a birth record could be necessary for a number of different reasons – a name change is the most common, but you may also wish to change a record to make a correction, add a parent, or even change your gender.

The process for changing a birth certificate or record depends on the nature of the desired change, as well as who is carrying out the change. Here is a break down of the most common scenarios for changing a birth record, and how to carry it out.

Changing a Child’s Name

Changing the name of a child on their birth certificate is one of the more common birth record changes – the change could be made to make surname changes acknowledging changing marital status of the parents, or it could simply be to correct a spelling mistake.

The process of changing a child’s name varies, depending on which name you want to change.

A Forename Change

Changing the registered forename of a child can be quite straightforward, but it can only be done within 12 months of the original birth registration.

Often, changing the child’s name will require the parent to fill in a “Certificate of name given not in Baptism” form, obtained from the register office. However, if the child has been baptised, a “Certificate of name given in Baptism” must be used, with the input of the minister at the church where the child was baptised.

A Surname Change

If the father of the baby was not present at the birth registration, and the parents have since married, a surname change may be necessary to change the baby’s surname to reflect this.

Changing a surname in this fashion requires that the birth be re-registered, ensuring that both parents are now included on the birth certificate.

Changing Your Gender

For those who decide to change their gender, one of the key processes in doing so is having the gender listed on your birth certificate changed, so you can be officially recognised in your new gender.

Naturally, this process is somewhat different to the process of having a baby’s details changed, not least because you will need to carry out the process yourself. You must be 18 years old to have your gender changed on your birth certificate.

Overseeing gender reassignment under the law is the Gender Recognition Panel, which was established under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. To have your gender change officially recognised, you must first apply to them for a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Granting of a Gender Recognition Certificate depends on you proving to the panel that:

  • You have gender dysphoria, or you have had it;
  • Your new gender is the one you wish to permanently live in;
  • You have been living completely within that gender for at least two years.

Once your Gender Recognition Certificate is granted, the change can be made on your birth certificate. Your new birth certificate will show no sign of your original gender – the only record of your gender change in the process is kept by the Gender Recognition Panel. These records are private, and strictly not for public viewing.