Legally recognising your child is becoming more common and is occurring earlier
The increase in the number of births occurring outside marriage has been accompanied by an increase in the number of legal recognitions of children. At present, 6 out of 10 children born to non-married parents are legally recognised by both parents either before or at birth, and paternal parentage is established in 8 out of 10 cases. Children born to mothers who do not work and who are less than 20 years of age or more than 35 years of age are more likely to not be legally recognised by their father. Legal recognition by the mother only is declining and involves 7% of children born outside marriage. In 58% of cases of births outside marriage the legal recognition by at least one of the parents precedes the birth and this is more common for the couple's first child. Social class also has an influence on when the birth is legally recognised: children of executive women or women in an intermediary profession are more likely to be legally recognised before birth.