Parental responsibility gives important legal status in respect of a child (that is separate from legal parenthood). It enables an adult to take important decisions to determine a child’s upbringing and safeguard a child’s welfare, including consent to medical treatment and immunisations, apply for a school place, consent to a religious ceremony, relocate or remove from the UK for a holiday or permanently.
Parental responsibility lasts until a child is 16-18 years old (unless discharged by court order). It is possible to hold parental responsibility for a child but not be a legal parent (and equally be a legal parent but not have parental responsibility).
Parental responsibility can be shared by more than one person for a child, in which case all those holding parental responsibility should consult each other and agree in respect of the decision making process for a child.
Parental responsibility can be terminated or limited by the English court if this is seemed appropriate in all the circumstances of the case. Click the links below for more information.
How we can help
We can provide help with:
- Advice on the acquisition of parental responsibility (for lesbian couples, co-parents, intended parents through surrogacy, known donors, unmarried fathers or a child’s carer)
- Preservation of autonomous parental responsibility for a child for solo mothers
- Advice and legal representation in court to obtain parental responsibility following a dispute
- Advice and legal representation in court following surrogacy to obtain parental responsibility for a child
- help and legal representation in court regarding disputes over the exercise of parental responsibility for a child
If you would like to discuss your personal situation in more detail or the law surrounding parental responsibility please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44 (0)207 222 1244.