Declarations of parentage—general principles
Declarations of parentage—general principles

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

  • Declarations of parentage—general principles
  • Jurisdiction
  • Sufficient personal interest
  • Parties
  • Declarations of parentage for the purposes of the Child Support Act 1991 and Child Support Act 1995
  • Declarations of legitimacy
  • Standard orders—declarations

In Re G (children) (residence: same-sex partner) Baroness Hale summarised the three ways in which an individual can become a parent (at paras [33-35]), ie:

  1. genetic parenthood—the provision of the gametes which produce the child

  2. gestational parenthood—the conceiving and bearing of the child, and

  3. social and psychological parenthood—the relationship that develops through the child demanding and the parent providing for the child's needs

The court cannot make a declaration of psychological parentage as declarations are intended to be matters of fact—see Practice Note: Acquisition of parental responsibility by female parents.

In M v W, on making a declaration of parentage after an adoption order, it was the court's view, applying current day attitudes and philosophy about adoption, that it was of great value for everyone who was adopted to know about their background. It could be of assistance to the applicant or their children to know who was the applicant's natural father in relation to medical conditions or genetic makeup. It may also be of value to the applicant and their family to know that the state had recognised the named father and it would satisfy the petitioner's personal wishes and emotions. The declaration would not affect the validity of the adoption order made. There may be cases where there are public policy issues that would preclude the making of a declaration, but there were

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