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Panorama
Donna and Leo
Donna and Leo
Leo discovered he had no rights over his son
Donna Benson and Leo Regan are typical of a modern couple.

They have lived together for 12 years, have a mortgage together and even have a child together. The one thing they don't have is a marriage certificate.

However, they are reconsidering their options after their baby son Rudi was born with a cleft palate.

He needed an operation at just four months old - and it was this that brought home to them the lack of rights for unmarried couples.

Leo was told that as an unmarried father he had no say in his son's medical treatment.

Ridiculous

He was actually told that he could not sign the parental consent form for the operation.

For Leo, this came as a big shock. He said: "Actually they stopped dealing with me then from that point on. It's like I don't exist now.

"We're completely committed to each other and some bureaucrat is telling us that I don't have any rights over my son."

Donna added: "I thought it was ridiculous, there's absolutely no reason why Leo shouldn't be able to sign any kind of legal paper work. He's his father."

Leo has two options if he wants to have a say in his child's future.

He could get married, or fill in a legal document, called a Parental Responsibility Agreement, and file it with a court.

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 VOTE RESULTS
Would giving unmarried couples equal legal rights undermine marriage?

Yes
 39.93% 

No
 60.07% 

2775 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


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