Some British charities are disturbed by a new law that would require all single mothers to name a father on their children's birth certificates.

Women can opt out if they have a valid reason, such as not knowing the father's identity, but men will also be able to file a separate declaration of parenthood, giving them automatic parental rights unless the mother goes to court to challenge them. The British government says the new law will make it easier to enforce child support payments, as well as offering "official recognition of the importance of fathers in children's lives." But charity organizations are worried that the measure could put single moms at increased risk of domestic violence. Jane Allbeson of the organization Gingerbread says, "A pregnant woman could, in theory, escape domestic violence only to find that her abuser has registered himself as the father of her child and has automatic rights to the child." [Telegraph]