What about Fathers?
If you are a young father, the TPSP can help you to look after your needs as a father and a young person.  We can also support you to get your rights in relation to your child and to have contact with him or her.

The TPSP believes that it is good for children to know who both their parents are and, as far as possible, to have contact with both of them.  
For some young fathers this can be  difficult if they are no longer in a relationship with the mother of their child.
This situation is complicated by the fact that in Ireland a father who is not married to the mother of his baby has no automatic rights at birth in relation to his child.  This is the case even if his name is on the birth certificate or even if he is paying maintenance for his child.

However, the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 which commenced on January 18th 2016 has changed the law regarding guardianship for some unmarried fathers. 

An unmarried father now has automatic guardianship if he has lived with the mother of his child for at least 12 continuous months, 3 months of which must be after the birth of the child.  This applies only from January 18th 2016 onwards  i.e. it is not retrospective. The 3 month period does not have to be directly after the birth of your baby : it can be at any time provided it is part of the 12 consecutive months during which you lived together.

If you would like more information about how to become a guardian of your child contact Treoir's Information Service at 01-6700120 or go to www.treoir.ie


Briefing from the UK Centre for Mental Health

'The Dad Factor' : Briefing Paper
A briefing paper titled The Dad Factor - How Fathers Improve Child Outcomes was launched in The Long Gallery, Stormont, Belfast, on Monday 21st September 2015. This publication was produced by the Dads Direct group in Northern Ireland (comprised of Contact Centres, Family Mediation NI, Home-Start NI, Men’s Health Forum in Ireland, Parenting NI, Relate NI and Sure Starts). To access a  PDF version of this document, visit: www.mhfi.org/TheDadFactor.pdf

Young Dads Information Booklet
This Booklet was first developed by the Louth TPSP as part of a Father Focus project.