Parental Responsibility

Parental Responsibility is derived from the Children’s Act 1989. It refers to: “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authorities which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.” The emphasis is on a parents’ responsibilities over the child, rather than the parents’ rights of the child. Parental Responsibility is a right given automatically to the mother and the married father. However, it is not an automatic right given to an unmarried father, step-parent or grandparent. An unmarried father can acquire Parental Responsibility in two ways: i) If the child was born after 1 December 2003, an unmarried father can acquire Parental Responsibility by having his name on the child’s birth certificate. ii) enter into a written Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother or by order of the court. Travelling Abroad Would you like to take your child abroad? Before you book your tickets, read the following.

If you do not have parental responsibility towards the child, you will need to gain permission from everyone that has parental responsibility over the child. You can do this through a document signed by the parents of the child. Remember, Immigration Authorities in the UK or overseas may ask for you for this document. The document should include contact details for the people with parental responsibility, and information about trip - for example the date of departure, when and how you’re returning. Evidence of your relationship to the child is also be helpful i.e. a birth or adoption certificate. If you are a single parent and your family surname differs from the child, provide a divorce or marriage certificate.

In order to find out more about how to gain permission to take a child abroad, get in touch with a solicitor to obtain legal advice. You can book a free 30 minute consultation with SKB Law - 01274 727373.

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