Sunday 22 October 2017

New Family Bill will do nothing for the rights of fathers

The Child and Family Relationships Bill 'could marginalise fathers even more'.
The Child and Family Relationships Bill 'could marginalise fathers even more'.
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The insightful analysis of the Child and Family Relationships Bill by John Waters (Irish Independent, February 18) contrasts starkly with the superficial comments from the media and political commentators.

The fact the Bill proposes extending guardianship to non-marital fathers who have lived with the mother of the child for at least 12 months - including at least three months after the child's birth - is being heralded as a major improvement in the legal position of fathers.

However, looked at in the context of the Bill as a whole, fathers could be even more marginalised by this legislation. What about fathers who don't meet, or cannot prove they meet, the co-habitation requirement? Such fathers will be faced with the possibility (probability?) of a variety of individuals, some of whom have no biological link to the child, taking their place as joint guardians with the mothers.

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