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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Grandmothers may, also, be “fathers”.

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The Daily Mail today reports that:

Family values were under attack again last night with the news that single women having IVF will be able to name anyone they like as their baby's father on the birth certificate.

New regulations mean that a mother could nominate another woman to be her child's 'father'. The 'father' does not need to be genetically related to the baby, nor be in any sort of romantic relationship with the mother.


Who is named as father is actually very important in law as it gives rise to significant rights such as shared parental responsibility, in cases where the parents are not married. When people are married the shared rights are, unsurprisingly, automatic.

But the new proposed law may give rise to some interesting issues. Will a birth mother put her mother as the father? That will give an interesting new spin to the difficult issue of grandparents’ rights if their relationship sours. The grandmother who is the “father” will perhaps not be happy to receive the application for child maintenance.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce solicitor

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