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Children: parental responsibility - what is it and how is it gained and lost (England and Wales)

Published Wednesday, August 9, 2017

This House of Commons Library briefing note concerns “parental responsibility” as a legal concept as set out in the Children Act 1989 as amended.

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It considers the meaning of parental responsibility, and the fact that it is not a constant right, but diminishes as the child gets older and so can reach a sufficient understanding and intelligence of the consequences of decisions relating to them.

How parental responsibility can be acquired and lost can depend on the person concerned and certain court orders. There can be restrictions on how parental responsibility is exercised, including the gaining of court orders in order to settle or prohibit a particular action by someone with parental responsibility.

This note applies to England and Wales only.

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