Fathers in the UK may have to sign their child’s birth certificate under new proposals being considered by the Government.
The idea is just one of a number of options being considered by the Prime Minister David Camerson in a bid to bolster the role of the father in UK society.
It is thought by signing the birth certificate new fathers will feel an increased responsibility to their child.
In Ireland, according to the Law Reform Commission, 10pc of birth certificates do not record the name of the child’s father.
A Downing Street spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: 'We are committed to ensuring that Government policy is family friendly and the Prime Minister has been clear previously that more should be done to ensure the role of fathers is recognised and strengthened.'
At the moment only a mother’s name has to be registered and if no man signs the certificate the father will be described as unknown.
It is estimated that 50,000 babies are born without the father’s name being placed on the certificate.
The concept was initially thought of when Labour were in power after being initiated by the left of centre Institute of Public Policy Research.
It led to the requirement being made part of the 2009 Welfare Reform Act, which required mothers to name the father and also threatened them with a £200 fine and seven days in prison for perjury if they gave a false answer.
They said naming the father would increase responsibility and also make it easier to make sure they accepted their full obligations, including financial support.
But when the Coalition came into office it was decided against pressing with enforcement of the provision.
The Department of Education said it had 'no plans' to introduce fresh legislation, although it was looking for ways to support fathers in the 'crucial role they play in their child’s life.'