Should Single Moms Be Required to Reveal the Baby's Daddy?

Suzanne Murray
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single moms dad birth certificate

Who's the daddy?

Please name here.

The number of unmarried women who are having babies has reached a record level in the United States, according to a report just released by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of births, birth rate, and proportion of births to unmarried women all increased by 3 percent to 5 percent from 2006 to 2007. The estimated 1,714,643 babies born to unmarried women in 2007 accounted for 39.7 percent of all births in the country.

Meanwhile, in Britain, a new law could make it mandatory for single mothers to name the biological father on their baby's birth certificate (unless they don't know who he is). Seven percent of babies there (45,000 a year) are registered without a father's name on the birth certificate.

Those who support the law say it will be easier to enforce child support claims and that it also demonstrates an “official recognition of the importance of fathers in children's lives." Critics say the measure could endanger abused women since it will allow the father to add himself to the birth certificate and give him automatic rights to the child. It also conflicts with another new law that gives women who undergo in vitro fertilization the right to put anyone they choose—for example, a same-sex partner—on the birth certificate.

There is currently no law like that on the books in the United States. Nadya Suleman, the Octomom, did not name the father of her octuplets on their birth certificates; two of her other children have no father named; and the remaining four children have the same man named as their dad. If the dad was named, the poor guy could potentially be on the hook for some hefty child support payments—even if he was just a sperm donor.

What do you think? Should single moms or moms in same-sex partnerships be required to name the bay's father on the birth certificate?

 

 

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