Parental Responsibility gives the parent of the child the responsibility of making all the important decisions in the child's life. This includes decisions in relation to the child's religion, education and medical care.

It can come as a surprise that not all parents automatically acquire parental responsibility.  The following are some basic examples of how you could acquire it:

  1. A birth mother automatically acquires parental responsibility for her child.
  2. If the parents to a child are married to each other at the time of the birth or if they have adopted a child jointly then both parents will have Parental Responsibility.
  3. If they are unmarried, the father acquires Parental Responsibility by one of the following ways:
  4. For children born after 1 December 2003, by jointly registering the birth of the child with the mother;
  5. By a Parental Responsibility Agreement made together with the mother;
  6. By a Parental Responsibility Order made by the Court.

The situation can become more complicated if you have received fertility treatment with your partner, used a surrogate and have a surrogacy agreement be it an unmarried couple, same-sex couple or recently married/entered into a civil partnership and wish to formally acquire parental rights over your partner's biological child.

At a City Law Firm we can advise you on your available options and what is involved.  Please feel free to call us for a no-obligation conversation on:

  • Advising you on the process, legal criteria and whether you will qualify;
  • Guiding you through the process of acquiring parenthood status and parental responsibility;
  • Overcoming any hurdles you face along the way; and
  • Representing you should any conflicts arise.