A person with parental responsibility has the authority to decide about the care of the child while the latter is young, for example for medical treatment and education.
A child’s legal mother automatically has parental responsibility. The position of the father or other parent depends on factors including their marital status, what is recorded on the birth certificate, and whether the family court has made an order.
Legal parenthood gives a lifelong connection between a parent and a child, and affects things like nationality, inheritance and financial responsibility.
When donor sperm or embryos are used for gamete or embryo transfers that take place after 6th April 2009, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 states that if couples using donor sperm or embryos are not married or not in a civil partnership, both parties must consent to the partner being the child’s second legal parent in order to be legally recognised as such, and named on the child's birth certificate.
The situation for married couples and couples in a civil partnership the spouse is the legal parent of the child unless it is shown that he/she did not consent to treatment. The status of same sex couples who are civil partners is that of married couples.
Should you have any concerns regarding this, please contact a member of the counselling team on 0151 702 4075, or if required seek your own legal advice.