Parental Responsibility (PR) means that the person concerned has all of the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has by law (as defined in the Children Act 1989). Where a child’s parents were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, each parent will have Parental Responsibility for the child. However, if a child’s parents are not married to each other, the mother shall automatically have Parental Responsibility over the child. Where the parents are not married to each other, the alleged father will acquire Parental Responsibility if he acts with the mother to have his name recorded on the child’s birth registration after 1st December 2003. An unmarried alleged father will not be able to claim Parental Responsibility unless he acquires it by:
- Obtaining a court order.
- Registering a legally written agreement subject to the mother’s consent.
- Marriage to the child’s mother.
- Being granted a residence order.
- Having his name on the child’s birth certificate (for births registered after December 2003).
People other than parents may acquire Parental Responsibility by appointment as a guardian or by an order of the court.