Christian Union wants to remove ‘father unknown’ box

14th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Children born to single mothers should have the right to know who their fathers are, instead of having a tick on the ‘father unknown’ box on their birth certificates, says Christian Union.

The Hague – The Christian Union is pushing for the mandatory registration of fathers on birth certificates.

The junior party of the ruling Dutch coalition wants to put a stop to people simply ticking the 'father unknown' box.
During a debate with Minister for Youth and Family André Rouvoet last week, Christian Union MP Joel Voordewind said children born to single mothers should have the right to know who their fathers are.

According to, Voordewind said children who do not know their fathers may fall short of emotional development.

His call for what is being dubbed a paternity law comes in the wake of similar demands by OCAN, an organisation representing the Dutch Caribbean community. About half of the Antillean children born to single mothers do not know who their fathers are.

Countrywide, about 11,000 birth certificates with ‘father unknown’ are submitted annually. 

In response, Rouvoet said while they recognised the importance of fathers taking responsibility for their children, it was quite complicated to change the law.

In Costa Rica, the law states that the mother has to declare who the father of the child is. The father can then decide to acknowledge of reject the child within 10 days. A DNA test can also be used to determine who the father is.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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