Birth certificate for my (British father of) child.

#1

First of all, I know it’s bad form to jump in with a first-post question, so I’m sorry about that, but’s it’s a bit of an emergency. And I did RTFF, but I couldn’t find my specific problem addressed.

I (British male) will be leaving Taiwan soon to go to Europe with my Taiwanese wife and 3 year-old daughter. I, of course, want my daughter to have a British passport. However, I can’t get a birth certificate for my daughter with my name as the father because it’s Taiwan’s policy, seemingly, to leave the father’s name section blank if the couple are unmarried (we later married, but the policy requires the couple to be married at the time of birth, so my name is still not there).

My other two options are a ‘household certificate’ (and I don’t really understand what that is) that lists me as the father, or a (very expensive) DNA test. But I don’t know if either would be a suitable replacement for a birth certificate. I’ve contacted the British gov, but am yet to receive a reply.

Did anyone have any experience of this? Is it really impossible to fill that blank on a Taiwanese birth certificate? And do any Brits in particular have any experience of getting a child’s passport in this situation?

Thanks, and sorry again for my lack of forum etiquette -time is of the essence.

#2

You might have a problem. I’ve never heard of anyone successfully filling in that blank on the birth certificate. The birth certificate is of dubious value anyway (even when it’s wanted) because it doesn’t show information that isn’t in the household registration documents, and foreign governments (well, the UK’s and Canada’s) always want those (you can see what the UK wants from you for your child’s passport in my post here: UK Child Passport Application (note FCO Birth Certificate for British Citizen born overseas is worthless))

If your wife’s household registration documents (show her the words 戶籍謄本 and she’ll know what this is) have you as the father, you’re probably in luck as far as getting a UK passport for your daughter. If they don’t, you’re going to have to handle it in the UK. It’ll probably be easier to make some sort of sworn statement of paternity there anyway unless you can only go the DNA testing route.

Sorry it’s not much, but you’re welcome. You can pay it forward by updating here with your experience; most people who come here with urgent questions like yours never come back to improve the forum for the next person with the same question.

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#3

Thanks Spaint, interesting reading. I wasn’t aware of the possibility of doing it in England without a BC. I’ll look into it. And I’ll be sure to update the thread.
Thanks again.

#4

Please note it’s only assumption that you can do it without the birth certificate. I mean, you’ve got the document anyway but it doesn’t show you as the father. And even if it did the UK government would still need the household registration transcript, so I hope that your wife’s HHR has your name on it as the father of the child.

Come to think of it, if it doesn’t have your name you should try your very best to get your name added before you leave, then your problem will be solved.

For reference, my wife doesn’t have a hospital birth certificate. Canada required a copy of her household registration to prove birth and parentage.

#5

Yeah I’m in the process of doing that now. Should be able to pick it up next week. In the meantime I’m waiting to hear from the British gov to find out if it’s enough. I have a feeling it wont be though.

#6

It seems Taiwan isn’t the only country to leave father’s names off if the parents aren’t married. This document might be helpful when you get to the UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statutory-declaration-of-acknowledgement-of-parentage-form

I had a frustrating time with the passport office but they did end up helping me within the constraints they were forced to work with. I hope you are able to figure something out with them if the HHR document in Taiwan isn’t useful.
Good luck!

#7

Update;

After finally calling the British passport office, and god knows who else, it seems the Household Registration Document wont be enough, and there’s no way to fill in that blank on the bc. So it looks like a paternity DNA test is the only route I have left.

Here’s what you have to do; download the MN1 form, and the accompanying guidelines, and fill it out accordingly. There is a list of government-approved testing centers (they don’t come cheap, and you can’t do it anywhere else). Send the MN1 off to the Home Office for their consideration and Bob’s your uncle. As far as I am aware, so far, there are no government-approved test centers in Taiwan, so you’ll have to do it elsewhere.

MN1 form:

Guidelines:

Paternity testers:

https://www.gov.uk/get-dna-test

Apparently, the whole process can take up to six months to complete, so start early (unlike me). And, if you plan to have kids in Taiwan, make sure you get married first.

Remember, this is just for Brits. I don’t know what you have to do elsewhere.

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#8

Of all the stupid bullshit here (not to say that there’s not any anywhere else) this married father only on birth certificate thing must be near the top.

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#9

I think that was exactly what I said to my wife. Pretty much word for word.

#10

Well that totally sucks, but at the very least you’ve obtained answers quickly from the UK passport office and don’t need to be in limbo any longer.

Thank you for sharing.

#11

Update;

Contrary to my telephone conversations, I just received an email (it took 8 days to get a reply) from HMPO to say the household Registration document is in fact acceptable. If that’s true, it will save me the expense of the DNA test, but there’s clearly some confusion there about it all.

Thank you for your email,

In order to process your child’s passport application, we will require your English Household Registration document, showing your and your child’s details. This will be accepted in place of the birth certificate, as you were not married to her mother at the time of her birth.

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#12

Thanks for the update! Good outcome. Let us know how you go with getting the passport :smiley_cat:

#13

This is good news. I hope your wife’s Household Registration record has you listed as the father of your child as well as the spouse of your wife.

If it does not, I would try to get added through providing a notarized statement. Taiwan must have a process for dealing with parents who marry after a child’s birth by which a man legally becomes a child’s father (with or without the biological proof) and it will probably be cheaper and easier than a DNA test.