I believe the very first right of a child is being able to know who his or her biological parents (i stress parents, both man and woman) are. I can understand that there are exceptional circumstances like rape in which case the identity of one parent may be concealed from the child.
It is weird that we live in an age where we have the right to know details as to who manufactured a product worth less than a pound. However, a child born outside wedlock is in the dark as to the two individuals responsible for his/her birth, unless born to a married couple or those in civil partnership.
Current Law: As i understand, under current UK (and i presume most of Europe) law, if a couple is married or in civil partnership both parents have to register their names as parents of the child. However, if the couple is neither in marriage nor civil partnership, the mother has the right to decide whether or not to include the father's (man) name.
My Petition: My conviction and argument is that each and every child (irrespective of whether he or she is born to parents who are married, in civil partnership or neither) has the right to know both biological parents. I know in many cases the mother may herself not know who the father is but shouldn't every effort be made under law to ensure that every child born in this country (and hopefully in the world) knows both biological parents? Does not the right of the child in this case supersede the rights of one parent who does not wish to disclose the information about the other parent? I use the term mother and father for everyone who has a child.
In a nutshell, are we not discriminating against children born outside wedlock or civil partnership by letting their mother choose whether or not to disclose the father's name? Also, it is possibly a discrimination against women as well in that they are forced to have parental responsibility of a child whereas the father (man) goes scot-free.
In cases where the woman fears her or the child’s safety, the man (father) should lose the privilege of having contact with either of them but continue to bear the responsibility of supporting the child just as it happens in certain divorce cases. This way the child’s expenses is taken care first by his/her biological or adopted parents and only in exceptional cases by others. This would also reduce burden of the taxpayer as there will be no single parent anymore as even if the second parent of the child is not physically present, he/she will be forced to support the maintenance of the child, just as a divorced parent would.
I believe if this is set right, a lot of social ills blighting our society will be a thing of the past.
Why is this idea important?
1. Stop discrimination against children born outside wedlock, in that they also have the right to know and be supported by both biological parents.
2. Stop discrimination against women having children outside wedlock, in that they are forced to bear parental responsibility, while there is a chance that the man (father) goes scot-free.
3. Stop discriminating against taxpayers in that they have to financially support single parents.
4. Build a responsible society where both biological parents are forced to take responsibility (including financial responsibility) for the child they give birth to.