The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › BDM › Completing online birth registration form

Filling out the online birth registration form section about ‘father’ with mother details
Why we ask you to do this.

By completing the ‘father’ fields in this part of the form is that a birth certificate is produced listing the person named as ‘other parent’, not ‘father’.

We are not happy with asking women’s details to be entered as ‘father’ and are working on changing it. Unfortunately, it’s complicated to do this, so we’ve included this explanation why we do.

By asking people to fill in the ‘father’ sections of this form with details of the partner of the mother, even when that partner is not a man, we make it possible for people using human assisted reproductive technology (like artificial insemination) to use this online form.

Under section 14(2) of the Status of Children Act 1969 we have to treat people in this situation “as far as practicable in the same manner as the father, or as the other parent of the child”. If we didn’t ask people to use the ‘father’ fields we would need to create a special form for the small number (less than 100) people who each year answer this part of the form.

Experience has shown us that if we did this, people would still try to use the main form, and face the hassle of us getting back in touch trying to sort it out. Worse, the wrong information might be recorded, causing future problems with identity and relationships.

We also know that using words like ‘other parent’ on forms may leads people to add in people who should not be listed, because many people have a parental relationship with children.

Our approach to this form was based on treating everyone equally. But we know it seems odd to ask people who would never consider themselves a ‘father’ to list their name by that heading.

We are working now on new ways of getting the right information without using this approach. Thanks for your patience.