§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How the absence of legal protection for unmarried opposite-sex cohabiting couples with children, by way of access to a civil partnership registration scheme, encourages such couples to remain together and to remain jointly responsible for the upbringing of their children. [HL4256]
§ The Lord Chancellor
The Government believe that both parents should be involved in their children's upbringing. Unmarried fathers can obtain parental responsibility for their children by agreement with their partner or, where appropriate, by application to court. Provisions contained in the Adoption and Children Act 2002, which received Royal Assent on 7 November 2002, when brought into effect will enable unmarried fathers to obtain parental responsibility by registering the birth of their children jointly with their partners.