Parental responsibility refers to an adult's authority to make decisions on a child's behalf. Put simply, it is the responsibility for every aspect of the child’s life, including the child’s welfare, education, health, support, and care.

A mother is automatically considered to have parental responsibility for their child according to law. However, a father does not automatically have parental responsibility only where he is married to the mother of the child at the time of birth or, if he is mentioned on the child’s birth certificate. 

If the child's same-sex parents were civil partners anytime during the child's conception through a sperm donor or surrogate, then they will have parental responsibility.

The second parent in a same-sex relationship can get parental responsibility in one of two ways:

•        If a parenting agreement was reached between both parties.

•        If a parental rights agreement was signed, certifying that the second parent bears parental responsibility for the child after they become the parent's civil law partner.


Take a look at some of our more frequently asked questions.

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