Bishop Pleads Case for Fathers; Church Leader Worried about Change in Law

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Byline: By William Green Political Editor

THE Bishop of Newcastle has warned against "writing fathers out of the script" under a shake-up of fertility laws.

The Right Reverend Martin Wharton has expressed concern that the Government is removing from law a requirement that doctors seeking to give IVF treatment should consider the welfare of the future baby, including the need for a father.

He said: "It seems extraordinary that at this time in our society's life we state in the law that in the welfare and well-being of a child, there is no need any more for a father.

"We hear it said again and again that children lack good male role models today, yet we are writing fathers out of the script."

The Bishop was speaking during a Lords debate on the Government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

He added: "It is surely very odd that the law might provide a birth certificate showing two women as parents of the child.

"I well understand that comes from a desire not to discriminate, but to have two women, or indeed for that matter, two men on a birth certificate as parents is a very odd way to put things. …