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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).


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.


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.