Letter: Committed fathers

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The Independent Online
Sir: Anna Coote is right to emphasise the importance to society of encouraging unmarried men to maintain their relationships with their children when they have separated from the children's mother ("Feminists must back fathers", 17 May).

She is wrong, however, to think that there is no existing mechanism enabling such men to acquire full parental rights. Committed and involved fathers will almost always be granted parental responsibility orders by the courts.

The irony is that such orders usually result from applications which are contested by the mothers whereas those parents who wish to enter into parental responsibility agreements without the involvement of the courts find that the Government has recently introduced onerous regulations to be complied with before such agreements become official.

LYNN ROBERTS

Hodge Jones & Allen

Solicitors

London, NW1

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