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3 February 2009 - A civil birth ceremony conducted by a registrar in which parents publicly accept the responsibilities of parenthood should be a ‘standard experience’. This is one of the recommendations in A Good Childhood, a report to be launched on 5 February 2009 by the Children’s Society that looks at how parents can improve their offspring’s lives.

The report states: “Traditionally in Britain the christening has performed this type of function and, at present, roughly a third of children are christened or have a birth ceremony in another religion. For children who do not get christened or experience another religious ceremony, a well designed civil ceremony would reinforce the sense of commitment of parents and their resolve to do the best for their child, through a suitable vow made in public.”

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