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A Green Paper Joint Birth Registration: promoting parental responsibility (Cm 7160) published by the Department for Work and Pensions on 26 June 2007 proposes that unmarried fathers face penalties for refusing to be named on their child's birth certificate. In 2006, seven per cent of births were registered to only one parent but nearly half of the fathers were still in regular contact with their child. In Australia a similar approach has coincided with a significant decrease in the level of sole birth registrations of approximately 20 per cent between 1994 and 2004. The Green Paper states that legislation will only be changed if robust and effective safeguards can be put in place. The proposals contain a series of measures to protect vulnerable mothers and children. The paper can be found at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/childmaintenance. The consultation ends on 25 September 2007. For more information see August  Fam Law."
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