Parental responsibility gives a parent legal rights over their child concerning a wide range of matters.

A child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility when a child is born. If the parents are married to each other the father also has parental responsibility.

Unmarried parents and same sex parents can also have parental responsibility in certain circumstances.

Parental responsibility includes:

  • providing a home for the child and deciding where the child should live having contact with the child
  • protecting and maintaining the child
  • determining and providing for the child’s education
  • consenting to the child’s medical treatment
  • agreeing to the child’s adoption
  • vetoing the issue of a passport for the child
  • determining the child’s religion
  • naming the child or agreeing to a change in the child’s name
  • consenting to the child’s marriage
  • taking the child outside the jurisdiction of the UK and consenting to the child’s emigration

Find further information about parental rights and responsibilities on GOV.UK