Father’s rights if he is not reflected as the father on a child’s birth certificate.

A client asked: I am the father of a child born out of wedlock. The mother did not reflect me as the father on the child’s birth certificate. What are my rights?

If a father is the biological father of a child born out of wedlock in South Africa and the mother did not reflect him as the father on the child’s birth certificate, he may face challenges when travelling internationally with the child, particularly if the child’s surname differs from his own.

To avoid the risk of being charged with kidnapping, the father can apply for a court order in terms of section 21 read with section 26 of the Children’s Act to have his name reflected on the child’s birth certificate, which can help to address any issues around travelling with the child.

In addition, the father may also need to obtain consent from the mother to travel with the child internationally. If the mother is unwilling to provide consent, the father can seek a court order granting him permission to travel with the child. It’s important to note that international travel with a child is subject to strict regulations, and failure to comply with these regulations can result in serious legal consequences.

In summary, if a father is the biological father of a child born out of wedlock in South Africa and the mother did not reflect him as the father on the child’s birth certificate, he should take legal steps to establish his paternity and claim his rights as a father. This can help to address any concerns around travelling with the child and avoid the risk of being charged with kidnapping.

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