Monday, 19 December 2011

Clamp down on new dads?

The government is considering a number of proposals designed to force new dads to sign their children’s birth certificates, it was reported in The Telegraph today.  Surprisingly, around 50,000 babies born each year in the UK do not have their fathers named on their birth certificate.

Currently, only mothers are required to be registered, despite the 2009 Welfare Reform Act which states that mums must provide the name of the baby’s father, risking a £200 fine and imprisonment for perjury if they fail to do so.  Since the coalition government came to power this requirement has not been enforced, despite David Cameron’s well publicised attack on absentee fathers, whom back in June he likened to ‘drink drivers’.

Forcing fathers to sign birth certificates could help to ensure new dads fulfil their responsibilities to their children, including financially.  All parents who are registered on their child’s birth certificate automatically have Parental Responsibility.  Along with certain responsibilities, this also affords rights which may otherwise only be acquired by agreement between the parents, or court order.

Signing your child’s birth certificate can therefore be a crucial passport to greater involvement in the arrangements for your child’s care.  If you are at all unsure about your parental rights and responsibilities you should speak to one of our expert Family Law Solicitors today. 

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