Acquisition of parental responsibility by unmarried fathers
Acquisition of parental responsibility by unmarried fathers

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Acquisition of parental responsibility by unmarried fathers
  • Who has parental responsibility?
  • Acquisition of parental responsibility by unmarried fathers
  • Factors taken into account in making a parental responsibility order
  • Cases in which a parental responsibility order has been refused
  • Child arrangements orders
  • Duration and termination of parental responsibility agreements and orders

Who has parental responsibility?

At birth

  1. where the parents were married to each other at the time of the child's birth, they each have parental responsibility ('married to each other at the time of the child's birth' has to be interpreted in accordance with the Family Law Reform Act 1987 (FLRA 1987))

  2. where the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth, the mother automatically has parental responsibility and the father does not: there is provision for the father to acquire it

  3. in relation to a child conceived after 6 April 2009 where the mother has a civil partner who is a parent pursuant to:

    1. section 42 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA 2008) (relating to a woman who has assisted reproduction treatment and is at the time of that treatment a party to a civil partnership or in certain circumstances a void civil partnership), or

    2. HFEA 2008, s 43 (relating to a woman who has assisted reproduction treatment and who agrees that that second woman is to be the parent of any resulting child)

      the child's mother and the other parent will each have automatic parental responsibility for the child

  4. normally no other person has parental responsibility for the child at its birth

Subsequent to birth

After the child's birth there