Government should publicise unmarried fathers’ rights

21 March 2001

Fathers Direct, the national information centre for fatherhood, today urged the Government to publicise the granting of full parental responsibility to unmarried fathers who register their children’s birth jointly with the mother of the child.

Tom Beardshaw, campaigns manager of Fathers Direct, said:

“We warmly welcome this overdue measure. In more than three quarters of the births outside marriage, the fathers’ details are included on the birth certificate, demonstrating the commitment of new dads. Yet those families would be shocked to learn that millions of these fathers do not legally share parental responsibility for their children. This can make for dangerous situations such as, for example, when children need emergency medical treatment and the mother is unavailable to offer consent.
 
“Now that the Government has decided to remedy the situation, it must make sure that parents understand the importance of both names being placed on the birth certificate. Official publicity for paid paternity leave would provide an ideal opportunity to let families know about a change in the law which at last gives fathers the responsibility which their children require of them.”
 

Fathers Direct is the national information centre for fatherhood. A charity, funded by public and private grants, we were founded in 1999 to promote close and positive relationships between men and their children.

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