David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, is backing a campaign driven by the Fatherhood Institute urging the Government to pressurise unmarried parents to have both parents’ names on their children’s birth certificates, reports the BBC.
Currently, the mother’s name is automatically recorded, with the father’s name only being added if the mother agrees and if the father is present.
David Lammy said that his father walked out on his family and, as a young man growing up, he “really missed him”.
“On Father’s Day, we should celebrate the work and importance of dads… I missed someone help me learn to shave, someone help me learn how to do up my tie, someone to talk to in those teenage years that can be so difficult,” Mr Lammy said.
Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive of the Father Institute, said that 45,000 children every year do not have their father on the register and lose out because they do not know who their father is.
“Requiring both parents to sign the birth certificate sends out a powerful message that our expectations of mothers and fathers are equal,” she said.
The Home Office said that David Cameron has asked them to look at options to encourage fathers to record their names on the register, ranging from better guidance to registrars to legally requiring both parents to sign.