What is Parental responsibility?

Parental responsibility is an important concept to understand when considering arrangements for children.

Parental responsibility is “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.”. It includes the duty to maintain, the duty to educate, the right to make decisions relating to medical treatment for the child, and the right to choose the child’s name.

Where the parents are married, both automatically acquire parental responsibility. Where they are not married, only the mother automatically acquires it – the father can acquire it by being registered as the father on the child’s birth certificate, with the mother’s agreement, or by obtaining a parental responsibility order from the court.