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Chapter

Cover Family Law

8. Legal Parenthood and Parental Responsibility  

Kirsty Horsey

While it might often seem obvious who the parents of a child are, the rules that govern legal parenthood can sometimes be quite complex. Following natural conception there are longstanding rules and presumptions that determine one’s legal parenthood. However, complexities come in some instances where children are born using assisted reproductive techniques or surrogacy (especially when using donor sperm or eggs), as then gestation and birth, genetic parenthood, and social parenthood may be fragmented. Different from legal parenthood, the concept of parental responsibility is also important, as this relates not to who the parents are, but what ‘rights, duties, powers and authority’ are held by adults in respect of particular children. Parental responsibility may be held by people who are neither the legal parents, nor are biologically related to the child, and it can be held by more than two people, each of whom can exercise it independently of the other(s).

Chapter

Cover Family Law

10. Parental Responsibility  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter examines the concept of parental responsibility and its legal significance; the various legislative provisions dealing with who automatically holds parental responsibility, as well as how, and by whom, it may be acquired; the exercise of parental responsibility and the various restrictions that may be imposed on the decision-making authority of those who hold it; and the rights and responsibilities of those adults who care for a child but do not have parental responsibility.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

10. Parental Responsibility  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter examines the concept of parental responsibility and its legal significance; the various legislative provisions dealing with who automatically holds parental responsibility, as well as how, and by whom, it may be acquired; the exercise of parental responsibility and the various restrictions that may be imposed on the decision-making authority of those who hold it; and the rights and responsibilities of those adults who care for a child but do not have parental responsibility.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

13. Who has Parental Responsibility?  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

Having considered the content of parental responsibility in chapter 12, this chapter turns to its allocation. The chapter starts by explaining the allocation of parental responsibility automatically at the child’s birth and through registration on the birth certificate. It then turns to consider applications by unmarried, unregistered fathers for parental responsibility orders. The acquisition of parental responsibility by non-parents, including step-parents and local authorities is then outlined. Finally, it discusses the question of shared parental responsibility and how that responsibility may be exercised in the case of disagreement.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

5. Children and Medicine  

This chapter explores how the law deals with cases involving children receiving medical care. It considers the circumstances in which children have capacity to consent to treatment. It explores the case law in cases where there is disagreement between parents and children over health care. It also looks at difficult cases where parents and doctors disagree on how to treat very sick children. The way the courts interpret the best interests of the child are examined. The chapter also explores the ethical and legal issues around the vaccination of children. The broader issue of whether there should be limits on the rights of children and the extent to which parents can determine what is in the best interests of the child are examined.

Book

Cover Family Law

Edited by Ruth Lamont

Family Law offers a contextual and critical examination of the subject, discussing areas of debate and controversy. Topics include: family life and the law; marriage, civil partnership, and cohabitation; seeking a divorce; and property division on divorce. It also examines property division on the breakdown of non-marital relationships; child support; domestic violence and abuse; and legal parenthood and parental responsibility. It moves on to look at private child law, public law child protection, adoption; and human rights and children’s rights in the family. Finally, it considers international family law and family law in practice.

Chapter

Cover Hayes & Williams' Family Law

A child’s parents: parentage, parenthood, and parental responsibility  

This chapter examines the law on legal parenthood (including establishing paternity) and the allocation, acquisition, nature and scope of parental responsibility. The law has had to address a number of questions in light of medical advances and social change. Who is a child’s mother when a woman gives birth to a child conceived as a result of egg donation by another woman? How is the law on surrogacy to be regulated? Can a female-to-male transsexual person become a child’s father via assisted conception (or indeed a mother if he gives birth)? Is a mother’s same-sex partner to be recognised as her child’s parent too? If so, in what sense? As this last question suggests, the law’s response is also complicated by the fact that the notion of ‘being a parent’ has several different facets.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

12. What is Parental Responsibility?  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter considers the meaning and function of parental responsibility. It examines the content and limits of parental responsibility including in areas such as: education; medical treatment; corporal punishment; religious upbringing; and naming the child.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

10. The Legal Position of Children  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter charts the changing legal position of children. It starts by considering the former importance of the status of legitimacy and its near complete abolition. It then discusses the changing nature of the parent–child relationship and the development of the law from paternal authority to shared parental responsibility. Finally the chapter considers the developing notion of children’s autonomy and independent rights which has both limited the scope of legitimate parental authority and emphasised that the interests of children are a matter of public, as well as private, concern. This latter point is well illustrated by the growing importance of the role of the Children’s Commissioner.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Family Law

8. Parenthood and Parental Responsibility  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam and assignment questions. Each book includes key debates, typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and tips to gain extra marks. This chapter focuses on legal parenthood and parental responsibility and contains two essay questions and two problem questions. The topics covered in this chapter are: presumptions of paternity and paternity tests; legal parenthood in assisted reproduction situations; the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008; legal parenthood in surrogacy situations; and parental responsibility. The topics covered in this chapter are complex as they raise legal, ethical, and moral issues.

Book

Cover Family Law

Polly Morgan

Family Law illustrates the diverse applications of modern family law through real-world scenarios. It starts off by looking at marriage and civil partnership. It moves on to financial provision on divorce and cohabitants and remedies not dependent on divorce. It looks at financial support for children and the various protections in place for domestic abuse. Parenthood and parental responsibility are examined in detail. Children’s rights and welfare are also looked into. Finally, the book considers private law disputes and children and child protection in terms of state support and care, supervision, and adoption.

Book

Cover Family Law

Joanna Miles, Rob George, and Sonia Harris-Short

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. Drawing on extensive experience, the authors offer a detailed and authoritative exposition of family law illustrated by materials carefully selected from a wide range of sources. The book’s principal aims are to provide readers with a thorough understanding of family law, in a way that stimulates critical reflection. Readers are encouraged to consider how and why the law has developed as it has, what policies it is seeking to pursue, whether it achieves the right balance between the rights and interests of individual family members and the wider public interest, and how it operates in practice. This edition provides updates and revised discussion on: civil partnership after R (Steinfeld and Keidan) (2018); divorce law following Owens v Owens (2018) and the government’s consultation on reform; domestic abuse, including consultation ahead of the draft Domestic Abuse Bill and forced marriage; rights under the ECHR and UNCRC in children proceedings; surrogacy following Re Z (A Child) (No 2) (2016); child arrangements orders; specific issue and prohibited steps orders, including relocation law; local authority voluntary accommodation following Williams v London Borough of Hackney (2018). There is a new chapter dedicated to property and financial issues after the breakdown of relationships other than marriage and civil partnership. The introductory chapter, supported by materials on the Online Resources, considers some of the contemporary challenges faced by the family justice system.

Chapter

Cover Hayes & Williams' Family Law

8. Children’s rights  

This chapter introduces some theoretical discussions concerning children’s rights and examines some ‘core’ legal provisions. It also looks at the case law related to which the issue of the legal protection of children’s interests has been explored. The focus is on the child’s right to make his or her own decisions as a possible limitation on parental responsibility, explored principally in the context of children’s medical treatment.

Book

Cover Family Law

Rob George, Sharon Thompson, and Joanna Miles

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. Drawing on extensive experience, the authors offer a detailed and authoritative exposition of family law illustrated by materials carefully selected from a wide range of sources. The book’s principal aims are to provide readers with a thorough understanding of family law in a way that stimulates critical reflection. Readers are encouraged to consider how and why the law has developed as it has, what policies it is seeking to pursue, whether it achieves the right balance between the rights and interests of individual family members and the wider public interest, and how it operates in practice. This edition provides updates and revised discussion on: the advent of mixed-sex civil partnership; a thoroughly overhauled chapter on divorce law, in light of the reform effected by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020; new laws relating to domestic abuse, introduced by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021; a revised analysis of Gillick competence and children’s autonomy rights in light of recent case law; and detailed consideration of the latest developments in relation to contact and domestic abuse after Re H-N (Domestic Abuse: Findings of Fact Hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448. Updated case law includes Guest v Guest [2022] UKSC 27, Bell v Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust [2021] EWCA Civ 1363, R (McConnell) v The Registrar General for England and Wales [2020] EWCA Civ 559, Re H-N (Domestic Abuse: Finding of Fact Hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448, Re H-W (Care Proceedings) [2022] UKSC 17, and Re A, B and C (Adoption: Notification of Fathers and Relatives) [2020] EWCA Civ 41.

Chapter

Cover Family Law Concentrate

6. Children—private law  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter focuses on private law matters concerning children under the Children Act 1989, particularly sections 1 and 8. It begins by looking at who is a parent and explaining the concept of parental responsibility and who has it. The chapter then considers the factors considered by the courts to resolve disputes over aspects of a child’s upbringing, including the welfare principle, the welfare checklist, the ‘no delay’ principle, the ‘no order’ principle, and the presumption of continued parental involvement.

Chapter

Cover Family Law Concentrate

8. Adoption  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter focuses on adoption as a means to terminate the legal relationship between a child and their birth parents. It considers the human rights aspects of adoption and different types of adoption and discusses adoption proceedings in England and Wales under the Adoption and Children Act 2002. The chapter then explains the role of local authorities and adoption agencies under section 2 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and placement for adoption, parental responsibility, and parental consent. It also highlights the welfare of children as considered by an adoption agency or a court when making a decision affecting the child. Finally, the chapter examines alternative orders: child arrangements order, parental responsibility, special guardianship order, and no order. This edition now includes reference to the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

Book

Cover Hayes & Williams' Family Law

Stephen Gilmore and Lisa Glennon

Gilmore and Glennon’s Hayes and Williams’ Family Law, now in its seventh edition, provides critical engagement with key areas of family law, with detailed, yet accessible, expositions of case law, key legislation, and debates affecting adults and children. The volume includes ‘talking points’ and focused ‘discussion questions’ throughout each chapter which highlight areas of debate or controversy. A section entitled ‘New to this Edition’ provides a detailed account of developments since the last edition.