Applying for a Parental Responsibility Order

Fathers who have not acquired Parental Responsibility for their biological child may apply to the court under The Children Act 1989 s.4(1)(c) for a Parental Responsibility Order. There are other classes of people who can also apply to the court, for example step-parents and, recently, "second female parents".

  • Legal Definition
  • Who has Parental Responsibility?
  • Registration of Births
  • Applying for a Parental Responsibility Order
How does the court decide to make a Parental Responsibility Order?

Overall, The Children Act 1989 s.1 guides the court in deciding any issues in relation to children, however, there are a number of specific points which a court will also consider when it decides whether to make a Parental Responsibility Order.

In 1995 The Court of Appeal, in the case of Re S (Parental Responsibility) [1995] 2 FLR 648 CA set out the law on deciding applications by fathers for Parental Responsibility.

The key issues for the court are:

(1) the degree of commitment which the father has shown towards the child,

(2) the degree of attachment which exists between the father and the child and

(3) the reasons of the father for applying for the order.

Similar considerations will apply to applications made by people other than the child's father.



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