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Legal position of father if DP not DH

(15 Posts)
lilacmamacat Tue 08-Mar-16 16:47:09

Not sure where to post this so please redirect me if you think I'll get better answers elsewhere.

My son was born abroad where the biological father (my DP) is not automatically recognised as a legal guardian because we are not married. What's the situation in the UK? Would my DP be a legal guardian because we're living in the UK, or would it be governed by the laws of the country where my son was born? My son has a foreign birth certificate but it shows him to be our nationalities rather than the nationality of the country he was born in.

Anyone had experience of this?


lilac3033 Tue 08-Mar-16 19:06:20

I am not sure but would assume UK rules apply here and so long as your DP is on the birth certificate he would be a guardian. My DD was born here but I am a dual citizen (as is she) DP is on her birth certificate here and also on her consular record of birth for my home country.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 08-Mar-16 20:06:00

If your dp is named on your dd's birth certificate he will be recognised in UK law as sharing joint parental responsibility for his child with yourself.

Ginmakesitallok Tue 08-Mar-16 20:09:01

It depends on the age of your children. We had to apply for pr for dp for dd1 even though he was on birth cert. as we aren't married. She's 12. For dd2 rules changed, he got pr automatically because he's on birth cert.

uhoh2016 Tue 08-Mar-16 20:12:13

I think that if your unmarried then the legal guardian is automatically the mother, the father can not apply for a passport, sign for medical procedures ( ie give consent for a child's operation etc) or even apply for a school place unless there's legal documents so say father is the legal guardian. Is seems very old age but it seems marriage does mean quite a bit where guardian/consent powers regards with children. Because I was married I could register the children on my own (or he could by himself ) whereas unmarried couples need to register the birth together.

lilacmamacat Wed 09-Mar-16 10:13:59

Thanks for your responses. DS is 5 so hopefully if laws have changed, DP will have automatic rights.

I have a bit more time today - I'll google and see what comes up.

lilacmamacat Wed 09-Mar-16 10:29:52

Just found this House of Commons Note about Parental Responsibility. No mention of DCs being born abroad so I assume that no matter where they are born, the same rule applies ie. so long as father is named on birth cert, he has parental rights. There are other ways of doing it but as my DP is named on the birth cert, it looks like we're in the clear.

lilacmamacat Wed 09-Mar-16 10:31:43

ps. Gin you were right too, the rules changed. The original Act was from 1989 but was amended in 2003 to allow DPs same rights as DHs if they were named on birth cert.

NickyEds Wed 09-Mar-16 12:39:51

If the father is on the birth certificate then he has parental responsibility and can apply for a passport, consent to medical procedures etc. Even if you're not married.

uhoh2016 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:51:21

nicky I only speak from experience my ds had an operation a few years ago we were told Dad could only sign the consent if we were married????

Pinkheart5915 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:56:13

In the uk the mother is the legal Gaurdian if the parents are not married.

If the father is on the birth certificate ( if not married the father has to be present) then he has parental responsibility. Again if parents are not married there are certain things the father can not consent for, for the child.

lilacmamacat Wed 09-Mar-16 13:55:35

Pink might be a bit of a duh question but does that mean there is a difference between having parental responsibility and being a legal guardian?

NickyEds Wed 09-Mar-16 14:53:17

Nope. If you have parental responsibility you can consent to medical treatments. It is a given with mothers but is inferred to fathers by either being married to the mother or named on the birth certificate. What do you think an unmarried parent can't consent to Pink?

Pinkheart5915 Wed 09-Mar-16 15:06:08

lilacmamacat I mis posted vey sorry . I meant to say It use to be the case in the uk that unmarried fathers weren't always able to sign for things in the uk this was certainly the case when I was a child.
However now whoever has parental responsibility can sign for these things.
So as long as your partner is named on the birth certificate he will have full parental responsibility in the uk.

I am sorry once agin if I confused you, I should of read my post before posting.

lilacmamacat Wed 09-Mar-16 19:16:58

You're right, Pink. The children's act 1989 was amended in 2003 to include DPs. So presumably any act before 1989 (guessing you were born before then) would have also excluded DPs. See my link a bit further up the thread.

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