Parental Responsibility Orders

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Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order

Having Parental Responsibility gives the parent rights to make decisions over important aspects of a child’s life. For children born after 1st December 2003 (England & Wales) Parental Responsibility is automatically given to those named on the birth certificate but if this is not the case then an application for Parental Responsibility may have to be made through the Courts.

Alternatively, if the person who currently has Parental Responsibility agrees then a Parental Responsibility Agreement can be obtained.

To find out more see our frequently asked questions below or contact one of our specialists to make a free half hour appointment or telephone 0115 9247 028.

Guide to Parental Responsibility Orders

Having Parental Responsibility means you have rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent has over their child or their property. For example, a person who has Parental Responsibility (PR) can:

  • Choose their child’s school
  • Choose their child’s name
  • Decide where the child will live
  • Choose their child’s religious upbringing
  • Apply for a passport for the child
  • Consent to the child being taken abroad on holiday
  • Consent to their child’s medical treatment
  • Consent to the child’s adoption
  • Consent to the child’s marriage (if child is under 18)
  • If the child is entitled to any property, you have the right to look after it on their behalf
The biological Mother will automatically have Parental Responsibility. The biological father will also have Parental Responsibility if the parties are married.

If you are the father and are not married to the mother, you would only have automatic Parental Responsibility if you were named on the Birth Certificate as the father (for children born after 1st December 2003 in England & Wales).

If you are not in that case you would have to either obtain a Parental Responsibility Agreement or if the mother objected to you having Parental Responsibility, you can apply to the court for a Parental Responsibility Order.

If you are the biological father of the child:

• You can get Parental Responsibility in one of three ways:
• You become registered as the child’s father when the child’s birth is registered;

• You and the child’s mother make a Parental Responsibility Agreement

• You make an application for a Parental Responsibility Order.

You can get Parental Responsibility in one of four ways:

• By the Court granting a Residence Order to you which would automatically give you Parental Responsibility
• By an Adoption Order being made in your favour
• By agreement between yourself and any parent with Parental
• Responsibility under a Parental Responsibility Agreement
• By a Parental Responsibility Order being granted by the Court

This is an agreement, which is set out in a special form that both parties (the person who has Parental Agreement and the person wanting Parental Agreement) need to sign.

This then gives shared Parental Responsibility to the mother and the person named on the agreement. If the mother does not agree to making a Parental Responsibility Agreement then the father or step-father would need to look at making an application for a Parental Responsibility Order.

Only the biological parents can make a Parental Responsibility Agreement
A separate form must be completed for each child:

• The form must be completed in black ink
• The child must be resident in England or Wales

Once the form has completed, it needs to be taken to the County Court or Family Proceedings Court by both parties, and an Officer of the Court will be a witness.

The Agreement can only be ended on the following terms:

• By Order of the Court made an application of a person who has Parental Responsibility
• By Order of the Court made on application of the child permission of Court;
• When the child reaches 18.

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