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Parental Responsibility

Kingdom Solicitors > Parental Responsibility

Parental Responsibility

All mothers and some fathers have parental responsibility toward their children.

A father usually has parental responsibility if he’s:

  1. married to the child’s mother;


  1. listed on the birth certificate (depending on which part of the UK the child was born in and after a certain date)

You can apply for parental responsibility if you don’t automatically have it.

Unmarried parents

An unmarried father can only get legal responsibility for his child in the one of the following ways:

  • jointly registering the birth of the child with the mother (from December 2003)
  • getting a parental responsibility agreement with the mother
  • getting a parental responsibility order from a court


The procedure is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Persons who have parental responsibility have many important roles towards the child.

These include:

  • Providing a home for the child
  • Protecting and maintaining the child
  • Making decisions regarding the child’s education
  • Agreeing to the child’s medical treatment
  • Naming the child and agreeing to any name changes
  • Looking after the child’s property/assets

Parental responsibility for a child whom you don’t live with doesn’t necessary entail a right to have contact with them; however, the other parent is still required to keep you updated about their well-being and progress.

Here at kingdom solicitors, we ensure that adequate attention is given to such sensitive cases. We assist persons in applying to court for parental responsibility if they meet all relevant requirements.

  • You will need to be connected to the child, i.e. as their father, step-parent or 2nd female parent.
  • More than 2 people can have parental responsibility for the same child.

You cannot apply for parental responsibility if you are the child’s mother as this is an automatic responsibility bestowed upon you once the child is born.