Monday, January 03, 2005


Equal Rights for Dads

I was pleasantly surprised to read in the Examiner about plans being drawn up by Social and Family Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan to give single fathers the same rights as mothers in the care of their children.
Brennan stated that he was prepared to argue strongly for legislative changes that would see both parents getting equal status before the law.
"There should not be an automatic assumption in court cases that the mother is the only parent fully entitled to care for a child" said Mr.Brennan.

Due to the 1964 Guardianship of Infants Act,a mother has automatic right to guardianship regardless of her marital status.
The father can only attain guardianship through marriage to the mother,getting her agreement to joint guardianship or being granted it by a court.

Mr.Brennan conceded that research has shown that many men were being barred from parenting by a system that they found to be sexist and anti-father.
"We need to ensure that the system does not,as a matter of routine,discriminate against fathers when the issue of custody is being addressed,"said Mr.Brennan.

I have to say I find these developments very promising and I fully support the proposals.I think it's fair to say the present system is geared towards women and against men and moves to make the system more equal and fair are to be welcomed.
Hopefully something will indeed be done.


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