Letter: Fathers' rights

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Sir: The confusion felt by Britain's unmarried fathers ("Report condemns `muddle' over rights for unmarried fathers", 22 September) is understandable.

Most are of a generation reared on the concept of sexual equality, yet they find that the law continues to discriminate against them on gender grounds. It is now more than a year since the Lord Chancellor announced that he would legislate to end this anachronism, at least for those who sign the birth register. But there has been no sign of any action.

With more than a third of children born to unmarried parents, a change in the law is overdue. It would remove any remaining stigma for the children and relieve the taxpayer of the cost of 5,000 disputed court cases each year.

Much has been made of the penalty for fecklessness - jail for those who do not meet their financial obligations - but for the 75 per cent of unmarried fathers whose commitment to their offspring is not in doubt, it would be nice to see a little more carrot and a little less stick.


Editor, "Families Need Fathers"

London EC2