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Children Act 1989

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

2Parental responsibility for children

(1)Where a child’s father and mother were married to each other at the time of his birth, they shall each have parental responsibility for the child.

(2)Where a child’s father and mother were not married to each other at the time of his birth—

(a)the mother shall have parental responsibility for the child;

(b)the father shall not have parental responsibility for the child, unless he acquires it in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(3)References in this Act to a child whose father and mother were, or (as the case may be) were not, married to each other at the time of his birth must be read with section 1 of the [1987 c. 42.] Family Law Reform Act 1987 (which extends their meaning).

(4)The rule of law that a father is the natural guardian of his legitimate child is abolished.

(5)More than one person may have parental responsibility for the same child at the same time.

(6)A person who has parental responsibility for a child at any time shall not cease to have that responsibility solely because some other person subsequently acquires parental responsibility for the child.

(7)Where more than one person has parental responsibility for a child, each of them may act alone and without the other (or others) in meeting that responsibility; but nothing in this Part shall be taken to affect the operation of any enactment which requires the consent of more than one person in a matter affecting the child.

(8)The fact that a person has parental responsibility for a child shall not entitle him to act in any way which would be incompatible with any order made with respect to the child under this Act.

(9)A person who has parental responsibility for a child may not surrender or transfer any part of that responsibility to another but may arrange for some or all of it to be met by one or more persons acting on his behalf.

(10)The person with whom any such arrangement is made may himself be a person who already has parental responsibility for the child concerned.

(11)The making of any such arrangement shall not affect any liability of the person making it which may arise from any failure to meet any part of his parental responsibility for the child concerned.

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