Somehow in the news today: Costa Rica’s Ley de Paternidad Responsable (Responsible Fatherhood Act), which went into effect in April of 2001, allows women to include the father’s name on the birth record.

79,430 babies born in Costa Rica in the last 10 years have not had their fathers listed on their birth certificate.

If the father’s name is on the birth certificate, he is responsible for a portion of the child’s medical costs and child care until the child is 18 (or 25 if they are in school). On the other hand, the mother has to know and want contact with the birth father. The law does not punish a woman who refuses to identify the birth father. The mother can also request a paternity test if the father denies responsibility. The father can also evoke the law if the mother refuses to identify him. And if that’s not enough conflict for you – the child can also request a paternity test at age 15.

Sauce: Inside Costa Rica