HELEN REECE Department of Law London School of Economics London
In Re S  2 FLR 648 Ward LJ crafted an entirely new reason for granting an unmarried father parental responsibility a reason never given in any previous case. This was to confer upon the father a stamp of approval:
'I have heard up and down the land psychiatrists tell me how important it is that children grow up with good self-esteem and how much they need to have a favourable positive image of the absent parent. It seems to me important therefore wherever possible to ensure that the law confers upon a committed father that stamp of approval lest the child grow up with some belief that he is in some way disqualified from fulfilling his role and that the reason for the disqualification is something inherent which will be inherited by the child making her struggle to find her own identity all the more fraught' (at p 647).
I have previously argued that Re S marked a turning point in the reasons given...
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