Single Mothers Association of Pernambuco (Apemas)

Paternity, rights of all men & women


Objectives and target audience

With the project ‘Paternity, rights of all men & women’, Apemas aims to mobilize the political will of the Justice institutions of Brazil – States’ Courts of Justice and Public Prosecutions’ Offices – to extend the gratuity of the Registration of Paternity. In 2008 Apemas managed to have the gratuity of the Voluntary Registration of Paternity established in Pernambuco (normative instruction n. 012/2008).

The goal is to increase the recognition of paternity of children and adolescents through a systemic action strategy. It will seek the participation, interaction and accountability of public institutions, civil society organizations and women, ensuring the principle of participatory democracy.


According to Apemas, denied paternity goes beyond the lack of the father’s name and surname on the birth certificate. It means moral, social and psychological abandoning, causing pain, shame, anguish, suffering and embarrassment. The arguments for the denial of paternity are always orchestrated to belittle the public image of women single mothers. The behavior of fathers who abandon their children without registration is found in a patriarchal and ‘macho’ culture, which characterizes the conflicts of gender relations.

About the organization

Apemas’ mission is to defend single mothers’ citizenship and social inclusion of their children through the recognition of paternity, shared custody, as well as the promotion of all rights inherent to paternity.

The organization conducts awareness and enlightenment campaigns on rights and mediation of conflicts between parents in raising awareness of paternal assumption. It also claims alimony and advises on legal cases in which there is no friendly settlement.

In 2006 and 2007 Apemas organized two campaigns: ‘He is my father – Recognize that right’, with 1,700 spontaneous recognitions of paternity in 19 Notaries of Recife, Olinda and Jaboatão dos Guararapes, and ‘Be a nice father – Recognize’, which took place throughout the state and resulted in 5,600 recognitions. The 2007 campaign had the support of Brazil Fund.

With the awareness activities Apemas supports the project ‘Present Father’, designed by the National Council of Justice. Released in August 2010, it aims to eradicate the lack of paternity recognition of 4.8 million public school students. The target audience was identified in the School Census in 2009, conducted by the Anísio Teixeira National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (INEP).

Funding Line

Annual Call for Proposals



Total Granted

R$ 25,000


6 months

Main Themes

Women’s Rights

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