Prohibited Steps Order
A prohibited steps order under section 8 Children Act 1989 can be used to prevent an action or resolve a dispute relating to an aspect of parental responsibility for a child.
Parents, step-parents with parental responsibility, guardians, special guardians and an individual who is named in a child arrangements order as a person with whom the child is to live can apply for a prohibited steps order. Other individuals require the court’s permission to make an application for a prohibited steps order.
A prohibited steps order can be used to prevent:
- A child being informed about their biological or assisted conception origins.
- A child changing their gender.
- A child’s name being changed.
- A child undergoing medical treatment or an immunisation.
- A child being removed from the care of a parent.
- A child being taken abroad by a parent.
- A child relocating within the UK.
- An individual associating with a child (e.g. risk of exploitation or abuse).
In deciding whether to make a prohibited steps order, the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration. They can be made in conjunction with other family orders (e.g. a child arrangements order). The court must also take into account a range of legal factors known as ‘the statutory checklist’ contained in section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989 and any other factors that it considers relevant.
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