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Fighting for Alex: man tells MSPs fathers can be excluded from children's lives on whim of mother

A man who is fighting to see his baby son is to urge MSPs to change the law so unmarried fathers have a guaranteed right to be part of their children's lives if they are deemed to be fit parents.

Ron Park will make the plea when he appears before members of the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee this morning.

He claims at present fathers can be excluded from their children's lives "on a whim with no reason or explanation".

Mr Park, who has detailed his attempts to see his son in a blog called Fighting for Alex, said there are an estimated 160,080 separated fathers and 295,000 children in Scotland alone whose rights are "unprotected under our current laws"

In his blog he states: "On October 24 2013, my little boy Alex was born. His mother has refused to let me see him at all. There is no protection issue, no order to remove me, she simply felt like she wanted rid of me."

The campaigning father wants both parents' names to be on a child's birth certificate before the birth can be legally registered, unlike at present where the father's name does not need to be stated on the certificate.

If both parents are fit and able to care for the child, they should both be granted full parental rights and responsibilities, he proposes.

Mr Park also wants any failure to comply with a court-ordered DNA test to be considered as a contempt of court.

He told how he took legal advice following the birth of his son, but said it was "alarming to say the least", adding: "It turns out that if his mother does not consent to a DNA test to be carried out, not even a court can force her."

He said this situation was "not something I was prepared to accept" and added: "My fight had just became bigger, it's more than just seeing my son now. My fight is to help all separated dads in my situation, fathers who had children born out of wedlock and have, in the eyes of the law, absolutely no rights to anything. This must change.

"At the heart of my fight will always be my simple desire hold my little boy, but it is clear to me that I am not just fighting his mother for this right. I'm now fighting the entire legal system. Fighting for change, for me and for every other father failed by our outdated and frankly inadequate judiciary system."

He accepted the changes he has proposed are "far from a complete answer" but added: "If my three steps can be implemented we can begin to redress the imbalance that has been created and begin to finally offer legal protection to fathers who just want to be a part of their child's life."

Contextual targeting label: 
Families

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