Parental responsibility and child law

Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility is a legal power over the decisions made in relation to a child. It usually applies to the parent with whom the child lives with. Mothers have an automatic right to parental responsibility, and do not lose it through divorce. In the UK, surrogate mothers also have parental responsibility. However, in 2008 the law changed to enable the transfer of parental responsibility from the surrogate mother to the same-sex couple who intend to bring up the child.

Gay lawyers can guide you, step by step, and explain the criteria that must be met to obtain a parental order which is as follows:

  • There can one or two applicants. If two, it does not matter if they are married or in a civil partnership, or even in an “enduring relationship” without any legal formalities
  • Both parties must be over 18
  • One applicant must be a biological parent – the donor of the egg or sperm used to conceive the child
  • The child must be living with both parents at the time of the application
  • The surrogate mother must agree to the process
  • The parental responsibility order must be applied for within six months of the child’s birth

There are a number of different procedures relating to same-sex couples’ right to parental responsibility, and how it can be obtained for children conceived through a surrogate mother. Gay Lawyers will be able to assist couples, whether they are married, civil partners or cohabiting to achieve parental responsibility for their children via one route or another.

Child Law

In the LGBTQ+ community family disputes are becoming increasingly complex. We understand the legal arrangements in relation to children and their well-being require sensitive handling.

This is particularly the case when a relationship breaks down, and the decisions about where the children should live and who should care for them need addressing. Gay Lawyers has wide experience in dealing with complicated family disputes, particularly relating to cross-border divorce.

In these often acrimonious situations our lawyers will provide a steadying strategy focused on the children’s best interests, and advise our clients on the most preferable options. All in the hope of avoiding court action, unless there is no possible alternative.

We can also support clients where time has elapsed with regard to their contact with their children.

Gay Lawyers can assist with:

  • Child maintenance orders
  • Child arrangement orders
  • Cross-border child abduction
  • Special Child Guardianship
  • Parental Responsibility orders
  • Adoption
  • Child contact/living arrangements
  • Surrogacy disputes
  • Specific issue orders
  • Prohibited Step Orders
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