Every child has the right to have both a mother and father registered at their birth where possible. This includes present day information and the ability for study of lineage/gene pools/genetic diseases and many other studies in future years.
I was recently unable to name a father on my childs birth certificate when registering his birth, as the father is both not married to me, and absent from the childs life. At present, if a father's name is to be entered on the birth certificate, current law requires either; the father to be married to the mother, be present at the time of registration or provide the registrar with documentation to express his wish to be included on the certificate in his absence. As a result many children who's biological father is absent are being left with the indignity of having a blank space on their birth certificate where the father's name should be. This law is creating future generations of children who will effectively be eliminated from geneological, anthropological and historical records to a greater or lesser extent.
At present parents stated on birth certificates are directly linked to parental responsibility and as a result the law is in place to protect men from having all the implications of this linked to them if the child is not biologically theirs. However if the system was altered in a way that eliminated this problem, whilst still giving children the right to have a father named at their birth, both sides would be better served. For example a birth certificate as well as a 'parental responsibility certificate': the former for the purpose of geneology ect and the latter being linked to the current laws for birth certificates.
As parents have to provide no identificaton upon registering a birth under the current laws the process is already open the a level of abuse. For example, in my case I registered my child's birth with my partner (who is not the biological parent of my child) present. I was asked if I was the mother and then my partner was asked if he was the father. We explained that my partner was not here to register his name, being honest people. Yet it would have been very easy for him to have just replied 'yes' and the registrar would have been non the wiser. With research suggesting upward of 20 percent of UK residents having incorect parentage registered on their birth certificates surely this system is ready for a review?