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Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility confers legal rights and responsibilities upon a range of individuals for children under English law.  It is also increasingly important from a legal status and identity perspective for modern families and those built through assisted conception.

Parental responsibility encompasses a wide range of legal issues including: education choices, travel and relocation, religious upbringing, financial matters, health and medical decisions, a child’s name, ability to apply/defend or participate in legal proceedings concerning a child.

The acquisition and exercise of parental responsibility for a child can raise complex legal issues, particularly when relationships breakdown, families restructure (blended families) and following assisted conception. This can create legal issues and difficulties for parents, children, donors, surrogates and modern families under English law, including:

  • Parental responsibility dispute (e.g. with a known donor, co-parent, surrogate, former partner, current partner, step-parent).
  • Lack of parental responsibility for a child (e.g. non birth parents, birth certificate arrangements, international conflicts of law).
  • Parental responsibility in blended family cases (e.g. issues around a new partner acquiring parental responsibility or status for an existing child).

Our preeminent legal expertise provides innovative legal solutions.  We tailor or legal services to best suit your individual situation and needs.

How We Can Help

Our legal services include:

  • Legal packages
  • Bespoke legal advice tailored to your situation, needs and wishes
  • Preparation of legal documentation
  • Legal support and representation in court proceedings

Package One

Parental responsibility dispute – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on family and fertility law in the UK in the event of a parental responsibility dispute with a known donor, co-parent, surrogate, former partner, current partner or other adult).

Package Three

Parental responsibility for lesbian couples undertaking donor conception and fertility treatment overseas – legal review (not civil partners/not married)

This provides initial expert legal advice to support lesbian couples (who are not married and not civil partners) undertaking overseas fertility treatment and donor conception.

Package Five

Parental responsibility for lesbian couples undertaking donor conception by private arrangement – legal review

This provides expert legal advice to support lesbian couples (married, civil partners or cohabiting) undertaking donor conception by private arrangement.

Package Seven

Parental responsibility and status for a new partner in a blended family – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice for blended families seeking to explore and confer parental responsibility and status upon a new partner or step-parent for an existing child.

Package Two

Parental responsibility and UK fertility treatment for people with complex personal situations and legal issues - legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on parental responsibility for people undertaking fertility treatment at a UK fertility clinic with complex personal situations and issues.

Package Four

Parental responsibility for single woman undertaking assisted conception with a known donor – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice to support single woman conceiving artificially with a known donor by private arrangement, at a UK fertility clinic or overseas.

Package Six

Parental responsibility for co-parents conceiving by assisted conception with competing or conflicting status or wishes – complex legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice to support co-parents seeking to understand, manage and secure parental responsibility for a prospective child.

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss your situation contact us.

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

News and Commentary

Click here to read more about our media and commentary work in relation to family and fertility law, policy and practice.

Leading Cases

Louisa Ghevaert has dealt with numerous leading cases in the UK dealing with the significance, acquisition, restriction and exercise of parental responsibility for a child. Read more here.

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