Mother spends thousands of pounds and takes DNA test in costly legal battle to prove her late boyfriend is her baby’s father – after she was told he couldn’t be on the birth certificate because they weren’t married
A devastated mother has spent thousand of pounds trying to prove that her late boyfriend is her baby’s father, after she was told that he could not be on the child’s birth certificate because the pair were unmarried.
Gemma Waters’ boyfriend Nick Green passed away aged 35 just days before she gave birth to their daughter Olivia.
Despite the pair being together for four years before his death, the mother, from Borrowash in Derbyshire, has spent nearly two years trying to prove that Mr Green was the biological father after she was prevented from putting his name on the certificate as she registered the birth of their child.
Ms Waters, 39, is now wrangled in a costly £4,000 legal battle to register his name which has involved a DNA test and a hearing in London’s High Court.
Nick Green and Gemma Waters in happier times. Nick passed away suddenly at the age of 35 in November 2021, as Gemma was just days away from giving birth to their first child
Ms Waters told Derbyshire Live that the period the before Nick’s death was a ‘magical time’.
She said: ‘Everything was going well with the pregnancy, we had everything set up and in place and Nick was so looking forward to being a father for the first time. He used to sing songs to Olivia in the womb and he was so excited. It’s just so cruel he never saw her and she will never know her daddy.’
But following his death in November 2021, the first few months of the process of getting Nick’s name on the certificate were a ‘blur’, adding: ‘I was told the law stopped me from putting Nick’s name on the certificate’.
She was forced to ‘register Olivia as having no father.’ But she said: ‘If we had been married, I could have registered her for both of us, or Nick could have if he had lived.’
The mother, who suffers some ill-health and occasionally uses a wheelchair, said: ‘Instead, as an unmarried couple, we both have to be present for the registration of the birth, which is obviously impossible if one part of the couple is dead.
‘So instead, I have to obtain a DNA test and a judge at the High Court has to issue what is called a declaration of parentage, when they are satisfied that he is the child’s father and that the registration can be completed.
Ms Waters was forced to ‘register Olivia (pictured in her crib) as having no father,’ adding: ‘If we had been married, I could have registered her for both of us, or Nick could have if he had lived’
‘When that is completed and I have a court order, I will be able to re-register the birth.’
Ms Waters says she has no issue with having to arrange a DNA test but that she also has to provide witness statements from ten people who can testify that Nick wanted to be a dad when he was alive.
Her 35-year-old partner did not arrive home one evening and when Ms Walters went to find him, she ‘discovered the emergency services were working on him.
‘I collapsed and ended up in hospital until I gave birth 11 days later in what was a very lonely experience.’
For the first 15 months after her partner’s death, the 39-year-old said she struggled to find a solicitor and judge to take on the case.
But now she said: ‘I have already been to the first High Court hearing in which a judge was assigned and a second hearing set for April 26, when the judge will explain about the DNA test that is needed and the witness statements. The evidence will be presented at a third hearing and then a fourth hearing the decision will be announced.’
The mother said that the whole legal process is expected to cost just over £4,000 – around £960 for each court hearing and the cost of the DNA test. This also includes an official from the laboratory to attend to swear that the sample is correct.
In order to help cover the costs, Ms Waters is hoping to raise money though a GoFundMe page that she set up.
She said: ‘I have been lucky that family and friends have been able to help with some of the funding so I don’t have to ask for all of it. But I never dreamed that wanting Nick’s name on the certificate would be so complicated and expensive and I am sure other people are not aware until it happens to them, which I hope it never does.
‘I can understand that someone unscrupulous might put someone’s name on a certificate without their permission and where there is a monetary gain but for ordinary people like us that’s not the case.
‘It seems a very sick and twisted situation, and too much red tape, from my point of view.’
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