What is parental responsibility?
Parental responsibility is the legal term used to describe the collective rights and duties a parent has in relation to their child. It is defined under Section 3 of the Children Act 1989 as-
"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"
Having parental responsibility for a child means you have the legal right to be consulted on their education, health and general welfare as well as having a duty to care for and protect them.
While mothers automatically acquire parental responsibility for their children at birth, that isn't necessarily the case for fathers. Whether a father has parental responsibility for his child is dependent on where in the UK the child was born, when the child's birth was registered and whether the mother and father are married. (please see Who has parental responsibility? for more information).
To change a child's name you must have consent from everyone that holds parental responsibility for the child.
Articles in this sectionParental consent requirements
What is parental responsibility? (viewed)
Who has parental responsibility for my child?
Can I change my child's name without full parental consent?
Can a birth certificate be updated?
Letters of consent examples and templates