With more than half of all children being born out of that wonderfully old-fashioned state of “wedlock” it really is time for the law to keep up and ensure that the same rights are granted to parents who separate, regardless of their marital status. This article in the Economist highlights the fact that its a problem in much of the world that married parents have different rights and remedies with respect to their children than those who are unmarried. Calls for reform of the law in the UK are loud, plentiful and pretty consistent. Maybe statutory reform really isn’t too far away now?
IN MUCH of the world, ever fewer couples are marrying before having children. Two out of five births in the OECD and two out of three in Latin Americaare now outside marriage. The way the law treats the children of unmarried parents varies hugely. In some Islamic states they are turned into orphans when their mothers are executed for fornication. In China they enjoy so few rights that nearly all are aborted. Even in countries that no longer discriminate directly against children of unmarried parents, laws that distinguish between married and cohabiting couples may harm them.