Single mothers will be obliged to name the father of their child on their birth certificates, under new legislation.
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is introducing the law following recommendations from the Law Reform Commission.
It says every child has a right to know who both its parents are.
Around 4,000 children do not have their father named on their birth cert every year.
The Law Reform Commission says there are a number of reasons for this - some single mothers wrongly believe naming the father will affect their social welfare benefits, whilst others think it will give the father automatic access rights - which is also incorrect.
The Commission has recommended that single mothers should have to name the father - to strengthen the right of the child to know their parents.
And its warned that without this new law - there is a risk of two people growing up and starting a relationship together - without knowing they are related.
However there will have to be some exemptions for mothers who do not know who the father is, or for mothers who fear for their safety if the father is notified.