A father will have his parental rights and responsibilities in respect of the child if at the time of the birth he was living with the mother in a permanent life partnership or :
- Consents to be identified as the father;
- Contributes to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period; and
- Contributed towards expenses with the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period.
These rights and responsibilities are in accordance with Section 21 of the Children’s Act and whether or not the father has rights and responsibilities does not affect his duties to contribute towards the maintenance of the child.
A court can terminate a parents rights and responsibilities but according to section to Section 28 of the Act, the court will have to take into consideration:
- The best interests of the child;
- The relationship between the child and the person whose rights are challenged;
- The degree of commitment the parent has shown toward the child and;
- Any other relevant factor the court may find important.