A child's mother automatically has parental responsibility for the child.
Parental Responsibility provides a legal status to other adults to make decisions regarding the child, such as issues relating to education, medical treatment and religion. Such adults might be the father, non-birth mother, step parents or another person with a Child Arrangements Order - Residence in their favour.
The child's father automatically has parental responsibility if;-
1. If he is married to the mother when the child is born.
2. If he marries the child's mother later on.
3. If he is named on the birth certificate (for births registered in England after 1st December 2003 only).
4. If he and the child's mother have signed a Parental Responsibility Agreement, which has been filed with the Court.
5. If the Court has made a Parental Responsibility Order in the father's favour.
Other parents, such as a non-birth mother in a same-sex partnership, can also gain parental responsibility, in much the same way as a father, as shown above. The child's other parent has parental responsibility if;-
1. If she is in a civil partnership with the child's mother at the time of the birth.
2. If she registers a civil partnership with the child's mother later on.
3. If she is named on the birth certificate.
4. If she and the child's mother have signed a Parental Responsibility Agreement and filed it with the Court.
5. If the Court has made a Parental Responsibility Order in the other parent's favour.
An adoptive mother or a woman who is the mother of a child after a Parental Order made after surrogacy, automatically has parental responsibility.
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The information that we have given is intended to be a basic outline of the process involved. You should still seek legal advice regarding your specific case.