Unmarried fathers have same parental rights as mothers

The challenge they face is being denied contact to their children due to customary traditions

We often read or hear stories on social media or from friends about fathers of children born out of wedlock finding it difficult to assert and exercise their parental rights and responsibilities. The most common challenge which unmarried fathers face is being denied contact to their children due to customary traditions and/or being subjected to obstacles by the mother and her family.

The Children’s Act (“the Act”) may go a long way in resolving archaic and gendered power relations within marital and parental relationships. However, the vesting of parental rights and responsibilities differs between married fathers and unmarried fathers. Section 18 of the Act provides that a person may have either full or specific parental responsibilities and rights in respect of a child...

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