New bill to give unmarried fathers equal rights

The VVD and D66 are calling for unmarried fathers to have the same rights as other parents in a newly submitted legislative proposal. According to the parties, many parents do not know about the extra paperwork unmarried fathers have to complete if they want custody of their child, reports.

Currently biological mothers and married fathers automatically get custody, while unmarried fathers have to fill out extra paperwork. If they fail to do so they do nothave custody of their child. This could create problems, for example, if the mother dies or if they separate. 

According to D66 parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp, many parents confuse recognizing the child with custody. VVD parliamentarian Jeroen van Wijngaarden wants to prevent "unmarried fathers being at a disadvantage".

A number of parties already announced that they are positive about the proposal, according to the newspaper. It does include a number of exceptions. For example, if both parents agree the mother can have sole custody.