Ireland’s Government has approved the drafting of new legislation which will require the inclusion of the name of the father on birth certificates for non-marital births.
The law requires single mothers to name the fathers of their children on birth certificates under the newly planned legislation.
It is estimated that about 4,000 children do not have their father named on their birth cert every year. And it has been estimated that overall, one in five of all children born to unmarried parents do not have the name of their father registered on their birth certificates.
The Law Reform Commission has found that the high numbers of unidentified fathers is because many single mothers wrongly believe that naming the father will affect their social welfare benefits.
Others believe that it will give the father automatic legal access rights to the child — which is also incorrect.
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton plans to introduce legislation to make it compulsory for both parents to be named on a child’s birth certificate.
The change has been recommended in a report by the Law Reform Commission, which said the legislation would reinforce the right of a child to know their parents.