Q&As

In a situation where there is a biological parent and a step-parent with parental responsibility (PR), can children's social care make decisions based on the view of one parent, when the one with PR opposes/disagrees with the decision?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Last updated on 25/08/2020

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In a situation where there is a biological parent and a step-parent with parental responsibility (PR), can children's social care make decisions based on the view of one parent, when the one with PR opposes/disagrees with the decision?

In a situation where there is a biological parent and a step-parent with parental responsibility (PR), can children's social care make decisions based on the view of one parent, when the one with PR opposes/disagrees with the decision?

Parental responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent or a child has in relation to the child and their property. Both the father and mother will have parental responsibility for the child if they were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth. If not married, the father can hold parental responsibility as a result of being named on the birth certificate or by entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother. Similarly, a step-parent may also acquire parental responsibility.

In the scenario of this Q&A it is slightly unclear whether the biological parent holds parental responsibility or whether it is simply the step-parent who holds parental responsibility. If both hold parental responsibility, each of them may act alone without the other in meeting that responsibility, but there are certain issues that require the consent of anyone holding parental responsibility. If, for example, two parents hold parental responsibility for a child,

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Key definition:
Parent definition
What does Parent mean?

A person who has parental responsibility for, or one who cares for, a child or young person.

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