The effects of special guardianship orders

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

  • The effects of special guardianship orders
  • Special guardianship orders
  • Parental responsibility
  • Death of a child
  • Power to appoint a guardian
  • Succession
  • Entitlement to apply for support
  • Care orders
  • Section 8 orders
  • Removal from the UK

The effects of special guardianship orders

Special guardianship orders

A special guardianship order (SGO) gives non-parents a more permanent legal status than they would have if they were named in a child arrangements order (CAO) as a person with whom the child is to live (formerly a residence order) but it does not extinguish the legal relationship between the child and their birth parents as an adoption order would do.

Parental responsibility

Special guardians have parental responsibility for the child until they are aged 18 (unless the order is discharged before then). Subject to any other order in force relating to the child under the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989), parental responsibility can be exercised to the exclusion of any other person with parental responsibility (apart from another special guardian). The exceptions to the ability to exercise parental responsibility independently include:

  1. situations where the law requires the consent of all persons with parental responsibility in a matter affecting the child eg sterilisation, circumcision

  2. any rights which a parent of the child has in relation to the child's adoption or placement for adoption

  3. the requirement for either the written consent of every person with parental responsibility or leave of the court before:

    1. causing the child to be known by a new surname

    2. removing the child from the UK for a period of more than three months

  4. where there is

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