Updated: Nov 3, 2020
When a baby is born, the mother gains automatic full rights of the child, this means she is expected to protect and bring the child up. These rights are known as Parental Responsibility or PR.
If the father is married at the time of birth the same rights automatically go to him, this also includes those couples who are in a civil relationship. If the father is not married to the mother at the time of birth, the rights to the child do not go automatically to the father, this changes if the father's name is put on the birth certificate, they then have full PR.
If the couple has split up when the child is born, or for whatever reason, the mother refuses to allow the father to put his name on the baby’s birth certificate; it is still possible for the father to make an application to the Family Court Near you.
In order to apply for Parental Responsibility, you need to understand that it is no longer possible to get Legal Aid for Family Law, and applications to Family Court. Therefore, many fathers in this position have to apply to Family Court for a Parental Responsibility order, BEFORE they can apply for any other order for example if they are being denied contact and wish to apply for a Child Arrangements Order. Prior to any application to Family Court, it is advisable and necessary in the eyes of the court to use family mediation services as the court like to see that you have tried to solve any problems amicably and in turn not need to make any applications to the court.
Clearly many people will opt to make the application to court via a family court solicitor, but there is another cost-effective way to get the same result using a McKenzie Friend.
McKenzie friend – Wikipedia