What is Parental Responsibility?
The Children Act 1989 defines parental responsibility as all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority that , by law, a parent of a child has in relation to the child and their property.
What does it mean?
There are a number of rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority’s and some examples are:
The ideal situation if people sharing parental responsibility for a child do not agree on a particular decision is that they are able to discuss it and reach agreement based on what is in the child’s best interests. If they can’t agree then they should consider mediation or ultimately an application to the Court for a specific issue or prohibited steps order.
Those with parental responsibility for a child can exercise it independently which enables a parent with care of a child to make day to day decisions. However there are circumstances when all with parental responsibility should agree on the issue, for example a child’s adoption. It is usually in the child’s best interest for all with parental responsibility to discuss and make important decisions concerning a child.
Who has Parental Responsibility
On the birth of a child parental responsibility with automatically be afforded to:
Parental responsibility may be delegated temporarily, but the responsibility for ensuring the arrangements are satisfactory remains with that person.
Who can acquire Parental Responsibility?
An unmarried father may acquire parental responsibility by;
By step parents
If a person who is not the child’s parent is married to or the civil partner of a child with Parental Responsibility they may acquire parental responsibility on:-
By female parents
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (“HFEA”) has inserted provisions into the Children Act 1989 to enable a woman who is a parent by virtue of the but not the civil partner of the mother at any time during the prescribed period by:
Others who may apply
It is possible for other people to acquire parental responsibility including those who have a child arrangements order in respect of the child or who are appointed as guardian.
If you would like further information about parental responsibility for a child please contact us.