Birth re-registration

You may re-register your baby by contacting the Register Office in the borough where your baby was born.

Register Office contact details for the main hospitals serving Haringey:

HospitalBoroughContact Number
North Middlesex or Chase FarmEnfield (external link)020 8379 8501
WhittingtonIslington (external link)020 7527 6350
University College or Royal FreeCamden (external link)020 7974 1900
Whipps CrossWaltham Forest (external link)020 8496 2716

Please select an option below to find out more information about changing a childs' name

Changing the first name of my child

If you decide to change your child's first name(s) within 12 months of the date of registration, you are able to do so on the original birth registration. Please contact the borough where the baby was born if you require a birth re-registration. 

  • If the child has been baptised in the Christian faith within the 12 month period after birth registration, you can obtain a form from the Register Office to take to the minister of the church where the child was baptised. Once this form has been completed it needs to be returned to the Register Office and the amended names can be inserted into space 17 of the original birth register. This process can be done at any time after the birth, as long as the baptism took place within 12 months of registration.
  • If the child has not been baptised the parents can complete a form at the Register Office. Once again, this process can be done at any time as long as it can be proved that the change of name took place within 12 months of registration.

Certified copies of the amended registration can then be purchased. The full certificate will contain both the original name and the new name given. The short certificate will show only the amended forename.

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Changing the surname of my child

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and the father did not attend with the mother to register the baby, it is possible to re-register the birth at any time in the future to include the father's details in the registration and change the surname of the child. A form is available from the Register Office that has to be completed by both parents.

The easiest way for the birth to be re-registered is for both parents to attend the Register Office together. However, it is possible for either parent to make a statutory declaration, before a solicitor or other person legally able to witness an oath, acknowledging the parentage of the child. It is also possible for either parent to seek a Court Order naming the father. In any of these cases, the birth will be registered again and certified copies of the re-registered birth can be obtained from the registrar.

However, if the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and it was decided to give the child the father's surname, whether or not he attended with the mother, it is not possible to change the surname on the birth certificate back to that of the mother. The only alternative is to consult a solicitor and make a statutory declaration or deed poll changing the surname of the child. This will not change the original birth registration. The statutory declaration or deed poll document should be attached to the birth certificate and this will provide evidence that the child is being brought up in a surname different to that recorded in the birth registration.

If the parents have married each other since the birth was registered the birth should be re-registered to accurately record the current legal status of the child. A form is available from the Register Office, with the completed form and a copy of the marriage certificate. The birth will then be re-registered and the child's surname can be changed as part of this process. Certified copies of the re-registered birth can be purchased from the registrar.

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Correcting a mistake in the naming of my child at the time of registration

If you made a mistake in the original birth registration it will be necessary for the person who registered the birth to prove that an error exists.

Registration is a historic record that records the details as they were intended to be on the day that the registration was completed. The information you will need to provide depends on how soon after the birth was registered you realised a mistake has been made. If you realise you made an error within a couple of weeks of registration you should write a letter setting out what the error is and how it came to be made. This letter should be sent to the register office who will pass it on to the Registrar General's office who have to authorise all corrections to names.

If there has been a longer time gap between registration and realising that an error exists, in addition to writing the letter setting out how the error was made, you will need to provide documentary proof, dated from the earliest infancy of the child, that you are bringing him/her up in a name different to that recorded in the registration. This evidence could be in the form of a clinic card, NHS medical card or bank book. The letter along with the documentary evidence will then be submitted to the Registrar General's office for consideration.

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Page last updated:

March 14, 2023

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