Parental responsibility means the legal rights, duties, powers responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child and the child’s property. Parental responsibility gives the holder a right to make decisions about their care and upbringing, such as where a child lives, medical treatments, education, and religion. Day to day decisions are made by the person looking after the child.
All birth mothers have automatic parental responsibility for their child. Fathers who were married to the mother at the time of the birth also have parental responsibility, as do fathers who are not married to the mother but are registered on the birth certificate (provided registration is after December 2003).
Civil partners of mothers who are registered as the child’s legal parent on the birth certificate are also holders of parental responsibility.
It is possible to apply to the court for parental responsibility if you do not have automatic rights, and we can help you with this process.