Mothers are often considered to play a significant role in the lives of their children from the moment they are born. How does it work when a father who is not married wants to register a child’s birth without the participation of the mother? The process has been made easier.


Several reasons can explain why a mother may not take part in the birth registration process. In some cases, the mother might be deceased, absconding, undocumented or impossible to reach.


A section of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act is unconstitutional, according to the Constitutional Court. The Department of Home Affairs now allows fathers who are not married to register their children without the mother’s presence.


If a child does not have a birth certificate, he or she is more likely to be excluded from the education system, from receiving social assistance and healthcare, and perhaps most importantly, from obtaining citizenship. Furthermore, the court affirms the children’s values and sense of belonging. Department of Home Affairs should do the same and ensure the court order is implemented as soon as possible. 


A child born in a marriage should be treated the same as a child born out of wedlock. Issues of concern should always be addressed with the children’s best interests in mind.

Can a Father Apply for a Birth Certificate Without the Mother?

The answer is yes. Having your child registered under your surname without your mother’s consent is now possible for unmarried fathers, but it does not mean they can alter any data already on the birth certificate.


Parents or anyone else legally responsible for the child must complete and submit Form BI-24 (only in black ink) to the nearest DHA office if they are in South Africa or to the nearest SA embassy, consulate or mission if they are overseas.


If you are married, your child will be registered under the father’s surname. Unmarried parents can register their children under either parent’s surname. You do not have to pay a fee for your first birth certificate after registration. 


You must register your child within 30 days as a parent, guardian, or another person legally responsible for the child. To do so, you must:


  • Fill out and submit Form BI-24 at a DHA office if you are in South Africa, or at a South African embassy or consulate if you are overseas, 
  • make sure to bring your ID and a copy of your marriage certificate
  • You will be required to submit your fingerprints during registration.
  • When registering a birth, the palm, foot or fingerprint of the child must be provided. This information will be archived.
  • For births after 30 days, there are additional requirements, as well as the possibility of a fee.


If for any reason, you need to apply for a copy of an abridged or unabridged birth certificate but don’t want the hassle of going to the Department of Home Affairs, you can also apply through a document agent like DocAssist. Not only will it be easier, but also much faster. For more information, get in touch with the team at DocAssist today. 


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