No right to know

Further to this post, the Court of Appeal has decided that the "ultimate veto" over who is told about the birth of a child lays with the mother. I do not agree with this decision. As I have already indicated, I believe both that the father has a right to know and, more importantly, that the child should have the chance to be brought up by one of her natural parents. I do not see that just because she bears the child, the mother should have the right to keep the birth a secret - this seems to send out an appalling message about the status of fathers, and reminds me of the anti-father article that appeared in The Times this week, and that was discussed so well by Pink Tape in this post.


  1. Needless to say, this case has caused considerable interest in the fathers' rights community. Some of this has centred on quotations taken out of context, the most provocative of which has been the statement in the judgment that the father's rights cannot be violated as he has no rights. I take this to be a purely legal reference to this specific father's lack of rights under human rights legislation rather than a comment on fathers generally.
    It would be instructive to read an analysis of this case from a legal perspective; for example, it seems inconsistent to this non-lawyer that the mother's wishes should still have been taken into account given that the child had become a 'looked after child' under s.22.

    On another point, the angriest response to this case has come from those adults who were themselves brought up in ignorance of their fathers, and who have been unable to trace their fathers, as baby E will be. They have described a huge void in their lives, and life-long confusion about their identity. It is the rights of this child, and not the father, which have been so brutally violated.

  2. An analysis will have to wait until a full report has been published, but you are correct about the father's rights. For clarity, I should have said in the post that I believe that the father should have a right to know. You are also of course correct about the child's rights.


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