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Mum proves her dead partner is baby's dad.

Byline: Wales News Service newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

AHEARTBROKEN mum has finally been allowed to put her murdered partner's name on their baby's birth certificate after a twoyear legal fight.

Natalie Preece was even forced to get a DNA test on the couple's daughter as part of her bid for justice.

The 28-year-old was pregnant when partner Michaelee Emmett, 29, was fatally attacked in the street by a drunken teenager.

He went into a coma but died without ever seeing newborn daughter Lola-Grace. Grieving Natalie was outraged that she wasn't allowed to put Michaelee's name of the birth certificate - because he wasn't alive to sign it.

She was forced to go through the courts with a DNA sample from their baby to win her fight.

Lola-Grace had to give a DNA sample which has now been positively matched with Michaelee's parents.

Then she had to get a court order to add his name to the certificiate.

Mum-of-three Natalie said: "I have been through hell to resolve this - even having to go to court. There was a blank space on the birth certificate where Michaelee's name should have been for two years.

"I am very angry. The amount of red tape I have had to go through to get Michaelee's name put on our daugther's birth certificate was outrageous.

"If we had been married his name would have been added automatically.

"We had been together for 13 years and have nine-year-old twin boys, Logan and Riley, together. This was all because we were not married."

Michaelee, of Blackwood, was stabbed to death by drunken Connor Doughton, 16, in a savage street attack.

He was attacked on August 1, 2014, just 27 days before his little girl was born. He died five days after the birth.

Natalie took Lola-Grace to the hospital as her father lay unconscious in his bed and placed the baby's hand in his and laid her in his arms.

If Michaelee had been conscious and able to sign Lola-Grace's birth certificate as her father, there would have been no dispute over her parentage.

But because he was in a coma and not married to Natalie, it could not legally be assumed he was the father and a DNA test was required by the General Register Office.

Natalie said: "It was horrible having to tell Michaelee's parents."

Demolition worker Carl Emmett, 51, and Michaelee's mum Mandy, 49, needed to take swabs to be analysed to prove Lola-Grace was their granddaughter.

Care worker Natalie said: "I felt as if people were doubting me and questioning my honesty and integrity.

"I was asked questions about our relationship, like how long we had been together and if my eldest two children were Michaelee's."

Finally, two years after Michaelee's death, Natalie got the birth certificate within weeks of her daughter's second birthday.

Natalie said: "It is wrong. So many people who have children are not married today - the law needs changing.

"There should be something in place for catastrophic cases like mine where the unimaginable does happen.

"Michaelee was such a proud dad and it will mean so much to see his name where it belongs.

"It also means Lola-Grace, like her brothers, will have access to any criminal injuries compensation that might be available to them in the future.

"She wouldn't have been entitled without the birth certificate.

"With the birth certificate, the law finally recognises that, and that Michaelee is her dad."

A Home Office spokesman said: "It is important that all details on a birth certificate are accurate.

"In the sad circumstances where one parent has died before a birth is registered, we rely on a court to make a declaration of parentage after considering the evidence."

CAPTION(S):

Natalie Preece with her daughter Lola-Grace

<B Natalie with her sons Logan and Riley, and her murdered partner Michaelee
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 4, 2016
Words:638
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