PE01513: Equal Rights for Unmarried Fathers

People Communities

Petitioner: Ron Park


Date Lodged: 14 April 2014

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the laws that govern parental rights and child access, and their implementation, to ensure unmarried fathers have guaranteed rights to be a part of their children's lives if they are deemed fit parents.

Petition History:


6 May 2014: The Committee heard a statement made on behalf of the petitioner. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Law Society of Scotland, the Family Law Association, Families Need Fathers Scotland, Scottish Women's Aid, the Equal Opportunities Committee and the UK Government. Link to Official Report 6 May 2014 (434KB pdf)

5 August 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 5 August 2014 (399KB pdf)

25 November 2014: The Committee agreed to defer further consideration of the petition until the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 had come into force and been implemented. Link to Official Report 25 November 2014

12 May 2015: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that there is opposition to the specific legislative changes sought by both petitioners. Link to Official Report 12 May 2015  

Written Submissions:

It is totally unacceptable for a father to be denied parental rights under any circumstances (unless he is an unfit parent) I speak from personal experience. As a child, I was not allowed to see my father. My mother denied him his rights by denying that he was my father even though she continued for many years to accept financial support from him. Both my parents are dead and I only ever got to meet my father once as a young adult. it was too difficult to develop a relationship due to all the anger and rejection felt by both of us. I pray that this legislation will be changed so that no other child has to deal with the pain of 'rejection' for no reason other than spite of the other parent.


21:57 on 10 Apr 2014

I have just read the other two posts above mine and I couldn't agree more. I am lawful I am a nurse I have a pay freeze but went into debt as I can't get legal aid to obtain an order and the mother changes it when I contacted the law they said they can't do anything to enforce it. I have since started a petition to change the law which I am waiting for them to approve so you can all see it. I have also contacted all msp members and got replies today saying their going to take it to parliment to ask the law to be changed so let's hope it does as I am now having to go into more debt to go back to court to have my order enforced which is unbelievable as an order should be enforced from the get go. But I am willing to get broke so I have my daughter in my live. Ironically if I were a drug addict or that I woukdnt need to pay a penny to go to court as legal aid would cover them. Where is the justice in this country. We stick our beaks into other countries here's a hint to the scottish parliment. FIX YOUR OWN COUNTRY FIRST BEFORE PREACHING TO OTHERS....


21:36 on 01 Apr 2014

A Child has a right to both parents A child has the right to know and love both parents A Child has a right to direction, love and care from both parents It is time the right of the child became uppermost in law. It is time the best interest of the child is truly enshrined in law It is time the right of a child to both parents in their life is enshrined in law If a parent whether that be a mother or a father is a bad parent then any child is better of without that parent but if they are a loving parent then the child has a right to equal time with that parent. For too long our laws have been influenced by the current and "trendy" campaign groups that leave fathers feeling they have no right to spend time with their children Very often fathers are made out to be uncaring and unloving and people who leave their children. The truth is that often they are pushed out of the lives of their children. A law that says a child has a right to know and love both parents would change the lives of children in Scotland All it needs is a group of MSPs that see what is needed

Lydia Reid

0:33 on 31 Mar 2014

I know a few dads who get a raw deal in the courts and I feel this should be stopped. I feel that once an order has been set by the court if not followed the parent stopping it should be charged. At the other side of it I think a parent who has been convicted of serious crimes i.e. rape, attempted murder, serious assaults to danger of life and domestic violence these parents should be stripped of their rights. Children are always in the middle of it and its about time the courts reconise this and not just say it.


13:56 on 29 Mar 2014

I ve been through the courts and they are not father friendly. I have started a petition too for enforcement of child access orders. Fathers decent fathers do not deserve to be treated like this. Children needs fathers and mothers and it is proven if the child has father input they grow up more rounded and to say mothers are more important is rubbish fathers can do the same jobs as a mother in bringing up their children and fathers if able and fit should have equal time with their children too. This country interferes with other countries rights and laws and human cases but ignores their own peoples rights. Come on scotland lead the way lets give fathers equal rights and time. Fix this instead of trying to fix other countries society defects


18:25 on 27 Mar 2014

Family laws in this country are sub-standard & utterly incapable of protecting the best interests of the children whom they ought to protect. The current implementation of equal parental rights is wrong & flies in the face of common sense, it is devisive & ill-considered. Family law is not fit for purpose & is being further corrupted by lawyers who manipulate the system for their own gain...profiteering in the misery of loving parents & their innocent, helpless, voiceless children. A child needs & deserves the full & active involvement of both parents, they deserve alaw which enshrines & preciously guards these fundemental rights.

Brian Cowan

8:28 on 19 Mar 2014

Its time both parents were seen as important as each other!


21:39 on 16 Mar 2014

Every father should be allowed to see they're child as much as they possibly can :) good luck with the petition x

Lesley Rhodick

19:33 on 14 Mar 2014

Every father has a right to see there child! Any kother that stop the bond between child and father is sick!... A dad should always get a say no matter what.


0:22 on 07 Mar 2014

Where parents are unable to agree over contact arrangements, there must be more legal protection allow both parents the ability to exercise their parental rights and responsibilities. All too often, the best interests of the child are forgotten whilst parents get caught up in emotional disputes. The law change suggested will recognise that fathers play an equally important role in the upbringing of children.

Lynn Anderson

23:39 on 06 Mar 2014

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