Senior judge tells married couples to wait to have children
A senior High Court judge, Sir Paul Coleridge, has said that couples should wait to have children until they are married.
The judge said that it is parents’ responsibility to provide a stable environment for the child, rather than having a right to have them.
He said: “I don’t think they should have children until they are sure that their relationship is stable enough to cope with the stresses and strains. If your relationship is not stable enough to cope with children you should not have them.”
According to Sir Coleridge, society has adapted to mean that it doesn’t make a difference whether a couple is cohabiting or married.
He continued: “The reality of the family is very simple. If your relationship is stable enough to cope with the rigours of child rearing then you should consider seriously adding the protection of marriage to your relationship.”
Coleridge asserted that marriages last longer than relationships between couples who co-habit, a view supported by the director of the Centre for Social Justice, Christian Guy.
Mr Guy said: “A lot of people don’t realise that long-term cohabitation with children is really rare – most people with children who are still together after many years are married.”
The judge praised Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions secretary, for trying support the institution of marriage by pressing for tax breaks for married couples.
The Office for National Statistics has reported that the number of children born out of wedlock last year in England and Wales has risen to a record 47.5%, jumping from 25% in 1988.