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Obtaining Parental Responsibility

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 12 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Parental Responsibility residence Order

Though they are blood relatives grandparents have no automatic, legal rights or responsibilities to care for their grandchildren. If such rights and responsibilities are desired, however, grandparents do have the option of going through the court and being granted these privileges. Adopting the children or making them a ward of the court could result in grandparents legally assuming a role in the children’s upbringing, but these are drastic measures. More commonly grandparents assume legal rights and responsibilities toward their grandchildren through Residence Orders or Parental Responsibility Orders.

Residence Orders

If a child has been living with his or her grandparent for three years then the grandparent is able to apply for a Residence Order. A Residence Order establishes that the child is living with the grandparent, and also provides the grandparent with Parental Responsibility for the child. Depending upon his or her circumstances, the grandparent may also become eligible to be paid allowances for his or her grandchild from the local authority. If a child has not been living with his or her grandparent for three years the grandparent can still ask the court for permission to apply for a Residence Order.

Parental Responsibility Orders

If a grandparent is awarded a Residence Order for his or her grandchild then the grandparent automatically assumes Parental Responsibility for the child. However, Parental Responsibility can also be obtained by entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with those who already have Parental Responsibility, usually a biological mother and/or father (more than one person can have Parental Responsibility for a child at any given time) or by seeking it from the court. If Parental Responsibility is granted by the court, it is done so in a Parental Responsibility Order.

Obtaining Parental Responsibility

Whether a grandparent is attempting to be granted a Residence Order or Parental Responsibility Order for their grandchild, most of the time a solicitor is employed to help navigate the legalities of this process. However, obtaining Parental Responsibility can also be done without the aid of a solicitor. Citizens’ Advice will be able to provide information on these processes, as well as where to find no or low cost legal assistance. One reader was unable to wait the weeks it would have taken to be seen by a solicitor and decided to take matters into her own hands. She simply obtained copies of necessary forms for applying for a Residence Order (C1, C1A and C2) and filled them in with the help of the court counter clerk.

Upon paying the £350.00 (total) fees, she then lodged the forms. Before her case was heard in court, however, she was able to obtain a free meeting with a solicitor by way of Citizen’s Advice who checked over the application to make sure that she had not missed anything vital. She also gathered a number of letters of support for her application from families and friend, and sent them via registered post to be filed with her application. By supplying these letters early, she left plenty of time for the judge to read them before the case was called. In the end, this reader was delighted when her application was successful.

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Pezza - Your Question:
Hi basically I have had my 8yr old granddaughter for over a year living with me it was a informal agreement between her mother my daughter I have played a active part since she was born I have supported her emotionally & financially also, now my daughter wants her back & reported me to the police saying I feed her alcohol which of course is untrue the police had no problem & left I have since found things out about how my daughter was treating my granddaughter verbally emotionally & physically I have seemed legal advice & have sent a letter to her , I have been in contact with social services the pastoral manager @ school where I registered her from February she is really settled 100% attendance and has progressed 100%. My granddaughter has had to write a letter saying that she is happy living with her Nan & does not want to go back to her mums there are other issues but could you please give me some advice please thank you

Our Response:
You would have to continue through the courts, if you cannot agree with your daughter on who should care for your granddaughter. Your daughter obviously has the right to have her child living with her as she has parental responsibility. Much depends upon the reason why she now lives with you and how much social services have been involved. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, it also will where it can allow the child to live with her biological parent, unless there is a very good reason why the court should not allow this.
ProudGrandparents - 13-Oct-17 @ 3:37 PM
Hi basically I have had my 8yr old granddaughter for over a year living with me it was a informal agreement between her mother my daughter I have played a active part since she was born I have supported her emotionally & financially also, now my daughter wants her back & reported me to the police saying I feed her alcohol which of course is untrue the police had no problem & left I have since found things out about how my daughter was treating my granddaughter verbally emotionally & physically I have seemed legal advice & have sent a letter to her , I have been in contact with social services the pastoral manager @ school where I registered her from February she is really settled 100% attendance and has progressed 100% . My granddaughter has had to write a letter saying that she is happy living with her Nan & does not want to go back to her mums there are other issues but could you please give me some advice please thank you
Pezza - 12-Oct-17 @ 11:47 PM
Fran - Your Question:
I've had my 2 grandsons living with me Mon/Fri and some weekends. While seeing there mother yesterday they have not been returned to me. Over night she has moved house, taken the kids and I don't know where she is. What should I do next?

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you have a care order, or whether this is an informal arrangement. If the arrangement is informal and you hold no parental responsibility for the children and/or there is no court order in place, then there is little you can do except to seek legal advice to see whether you have any rights.
ProudGrandparents - 9-Oct-17 @ 12:26 PM
I've had my 2 grandsons living with me Mon/Fri and some weekends. While seeing there mother yesterday they have not been returned to me. Over night she has moved house, taken the kids and I don't know where she is. What should I do next?
Fran - 7-Oct-17 @ 7:29 PM
Hilly - Your Question:
I want my parents to have parental responsibility as well as me and her dad. How do I do this? What good reasons can I use to get him to agree to this as we are not together and he likes to go against me just out of spite

Our Response:
In order to apply for PR for your child or children, the person needs to be connected to the child, eg as their father, step-parent or 2nd female parent.
ProudGrandparents - 7-Sep-17 @ 12:01 PM
I want my parents to have parental responsibility as well as me and her dad. How do I do this? What good reasons can I use to get him to agree to this as we are not together and he likes to go against me just out of spite
Hilly - 6-Sep-17 @ 6:41 PM
Andie - Your Question:
Hi our daughter lives with us and her 2 sons, 20 months and 6 months. I've more or less brought up the older one, as he as many conditions, including cerebral palsy. I do all his appts as she has never really bonded with him. When she got pregnant with her second son, she decided she couldn't lift the eldest one or do anything with him. We do everything for him. She's now talking about moving out and leaving the eldest boy with us. We want it in writing, as she has a temper and would threaten to take him is she didn't get what she wants. Can it go through a solicitor or does it have to go to court. Preferably we're seeking residency.

Our Response:
If it is an agreed decision then you can make an agreement through a solicitor, or mediation. However, only a court order is enforceable by law, should your daughter change her mind somewhere down the line. If you do not have parental responsibility, you have few rights. You may wish to seek legal advice regarding this matter.
ProudGrandparents - 4-Sep-17 @ 3:33 PM
Hi our daughter lives with us and her 2 sons, 20 months and 6 months. I've more or less brought up the older one, as he as many conditions, including cerebral palsy. I do all his appts as she has never really bonded with him. When she got pregnant with her second son, she decided she couldn't lift the eldest one or do anything with him. We do everything for him. She's now talking about moving out and leaving the eldest boy with us. We want it in writing, as she has a temper and would threaten to take him is she didn't get what she wants. Can it go through a solicitor or does it have to go to court. Preferably we're seeking residency.
Andie - 2-Sep-17 @ 7:51 PM
Jan - Your Question:
I would like to get an urgent residents order for my 7 year old grandson who is on the autism spectrum. I know he is suffering physical, emotional and financial abuse so I consider this an urgent matter and believe him not to be safe where he is. He lives with his dad who is very crafty and manages to con social services and other agencies into believing what he says.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this matter. It is much more difficult for a grandparent to be awarded a residence order as you do not have parental responsibility. Therefore, you would have to prove the father is incapable of looking after your grandson. Speaking to Social Services is also advised.
ProudGrandparents - 31-Aug-17 @ 12:39 PM
Could my husband and I get sgo for my 5 year old grandson, if mother and father named on birth certificate, agree ?? Other siblings have fathers who have stepped in as mum not coping and all kids on CPP, social care pushing for residence orders but my solicitor seemed to think it was more a question of them looking for 'cheaper' option ??
Curlytop - 30-Aug-17 @ 9:00 PM
I would like to get an urgent residents order for my 7 year old grandson who is on the autism spectrum. I know he is suffering physical, emotional and financial abuse so I consider this an urgent matter and believe him not to be safe where he is. He lives with his dad who is very crafty and manages to con social services and other agencies into believing what he says.
Jan - 29-Aug-17 @ 6:05 PM
Ess1 - Your Question:
Hi My Ex husband wants to sign over his parental rights to my mother. My Son has been uncontrollable so I sent him to live with his dad in Europe.My Ex husband and my mother have secretly made plans to send my son to live with her back in the UK, with him (ex) signing his rights over to my mother.this has now been brought to my attention.With that said, I do not agree with their plans I feel it is best my son remains with his father untill we can see a change in his behaviour, the other option he returns back to me his mother.Can they achieve their plan without my permission?Thanks

Our Response:
Your ex cannot 'sign' his parental rights over to another person unless you both agree. If your ex sends your son to live with his mother in the UK and you disagree, then as you have parental responsibility you can prevent this. Mothers automatically have PR as they are listed on the child's birth certificate. A father will automatically have PR if he was married to the mother at the time of the birth or was listed on the birth certificate. However, if a person takes the child without permission from someone without PR, the police will be able to intervene. A solicitor would be able to help you here, a letter outlining your rights as the mother may prevent this.
ProudGrandparents - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:11 AM
When my daughter was born in 2015 my partner and I decided to move and live with my mother in law to save for a deposit for a house. Whilst we lived with my mother in law, my mother has taken care of my son. We live approx 2 hours drive away. This has been the situation for 2 years. My partner and I haven't decided that we will move abroad to study for 3 months and want my son to stay with mother until we have found somewhere permanent to live. I would like for myself and my ex (sons father) to agree to give my mother parental responsibility whilst I am away is objecting to all of this. I am aware I will need to go to court. What order should I apply for?
Flojo - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:55 PM
Hi My Ex husband wants to sign over his parental rights to my mother. My Son has been uncontrollable so I sent him to live with his dad in Europe. My Ex husband and my mother have secretly made plans to send my son to live with her back in the UK, with him (ex) signing his rights over to my mother...this has now been brought to my attention. With that said, I do not agree with their plans I feel it is best my son remains with his father untill we can see a change in his behaviour, the other option he returns back to me his mother. Can they achieve their plan without my permission? Thanks
Ess1 - 5-Aug-17 @ 10:26 PM
Prill - Your Question:
It's a very very long story! My mother hasParental responsibility of my late brothers daughter His daughter has always been 'a problem' she is extremely aggressive and as she has got older and bigger it's uncontrollable, she us now abusing my mother physically and mentally. The police are continually being called and unfortunately because of her horrific attitude and aggression no one in the family can take her as it will b e putting the other children at risk. This is not grief, she has had anger issues since she was 3. Her father was the only who could talk her down. My mother is 69 and is completely broken, she wants to relinquish pr How do we do this

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Referrals to social services can happen in a number of ways. You can request help yourself by calling your local social services - you can find your local social services here. Referrals can be made by other professionals who are working with your family or children, including schools, GPs, health visitors, and more, please see link here. However, any relinquishing of PR would have to be dealt with through the court.
ProudGrandparents - 3-Aug-17 @ 12:23 PM
It's a very very long story! My mother hasParental responsibility of my late brothers daughter His daughter has always been 'a problem' she is extremely aggressive and as she has got older and bigger it's uncontrollable, she us now abusing my mother physically and mentally. The police are continually being called and unfortunately because of her horrific attitude and aggression no one in the family can take her as it will b e putting the other children at risk. This is not grief, she has had anger issues since she was 3. Her father was the only who could talk her down.My mother is 69 and is completely broken, she wants to relinquish pr How do we do this
Prill - 2-Aug-17 @ 6:14 PM
Mo - Your Question:
I have had my grandson since he was a tiny baby he will be 10yrs old in October I got custody of him in 2008 and he's been with me ever since. His mother wants him back he doesn't want to go to his mum she now has 3 children and one that was taken off her and is adopted out. Shes taking me to court. Where do I stand please.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is a difficult question to answer. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the child and is generally unwilling to move a child who is settled and stable, especially after such a length of time. Your grandson's opinion will also be taken into consideration. Therefore, both of these points will work on your favour. In cases such as this Cafcass will get involved. It’s their job to interview parents and guardians involved in the case, as well as the children. Plus, any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. The court will generally adhere to the Cafcass report.
ProudGrandparents - 31-Jul-17 @ 12:34 PM
I have had my grandson since he was a tiny baby he will be 10yrs old in October i got custody of him in 2008 and he's been with me ever since. His mother wants him back he doesn't want to go to his mum she now has 3 children and one that was taken off her and is adopted out. Shes taking me to court. Where do i stand please.
Mo - 28-Jul-17 @ 8:08 PM
Bambi - Your Question:
Hi my I have 3 daughters 1 from a previous relationship. She has a very close bond with my mother but not with me. She is now 6 and have had full custody of her from birth. I live hundreds of miles away from my mother and my 6 year olds fathers side of the family. My mom has asked for my daughter to liver with her and I agree as she is missing out on seeing her fathers family and her grandma. I am willing to give my mom custody of my daughter how do I go about it

Our Response:
Mediation may work in this instance. This would allow you to draw up an agreement which would be approved by the courts.
ProudGrandparents - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:20 PM
Hi my I have 3 daughters 1 from a previous relationship. She has a very close bond with my mother but not with me. She is now 6 and have had full custody of her from birth. I live hundreds of miles away from my mother and my 6 year olds fathers side of the family. My mom has asked for my daughter to liver with her and I agree as she is missing out on seeing her fathers family and her grandma. I am willing to give my mom custody of my daughter how do I go about it
Bambi - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:43 PM
My grandaughter lives with her mum and nanny and grandad in mothers side. Im nanna on the fathers side. Both parents are special needs . I m looking to get pr for my grandaughter can i do this.
Kat - 22-Jul-17 @ 6:32 PM
Welshdragon- Your Question:
My daughter wants me to have equal parental responsibility with her as she is a single parent of a autistic child the father of the child has waived his parental responsibility how do we go about this please and how much does it cost

Our Response:
In order to be allowed to apply for parental responsibility, you would need to be connected to the child as their father, step-parent or 2nd female parent.
ProudGrandparents - 30-Jun-17 @ 12:04 PM
PP - Your Question:
Our daughter would like me and her father to have shared parental responsiblity for our grandson who is 1 year old. She has mental health issues and has been sectioned in the past. She is very concerned that if this should happen again, her baby would be taken into care. His father is named on the birth certificate but is incapable of caring for himself, let alone a small child. We cannot find the relevant forms to file.

Our Response:
You can see more about Special Guardianship Orders via the Family Lives link here which might apply.
ProudGrandparents - 29-Jun-17 @ 12:07 PM
Just a quick question my daughter was told by social service that they were going to take her children away because of DV so she signed all p r rights to methrough solicitor5 month onthe ss put kiddy on a full care order I was told this shouldn't of happened as the kiddy were out ofthe situation and living with me there maternal grandparentsthey have been with us for 3 yrs nowso I really need to know if this was legalas I'm not happy with ss
Dee - 1-May-17 @ 9:56 AM
My daughter who is 19 has epilepsy and gave birth 3months ago since then I've given up work to look after baby and her . The father and her self have a very toxic relationship he's smoking and on the cocaine was given a chance wit my help to look after he's child at night but decided to try Choke him as he wasn't taking he's bottle quick enough hasn't been at house now for 5 weeks to see son .. daughter having regular seizures bit boyfriend still asking for her meet up with him and sometimes take baby with her ( which she can't as to be with someone else help her ) daughter threatens to run away with baby whom as a hitus hernia and needsmedical attention unfortunately has go Manchester for this . Can I get anythinv in place with the best intrest of baby to keep baby resident here with us .. daughter can have a big seizure and then dad is under impressionhe will get the baby for he's mother to look after even though they have only seen him in hospital she wants to be able come off jsa and go on income support as baby will be under 5 . I'm supporting baby financially daughter gets child benefit she was able to get the maternity grant too bit I've put that in a account for baby for any necessities or when he's 18 .. dad wanted half of it for a tattoo . Dad is on birth certificate and doesn't pay anything towards baby with exception of few nappies and 1 box milk that the dad claims she should breast feed instead . I'm doing all can to help baby Inc get up through night feeds through day .
Glamar - 25-Apr-17 @ 5:40 PM
Hi the grandparents. Of my x girl friend has my son i know they have a parent. Responsibilities order for him.As his mum is ill with depression i have try to right letters to the grandparents and make phone calls to ask if they would do a dna test done as there daughter used me as a sprem bank to have a child and hoped i would walk away.But this is not the case i tryed for 5 years tracking down her grandparents and found she didn't put me on the birth certificate At the time of his birth so am a bit stuck. The grandparents. Words was we are not giving you a dna test done as we found his reel father this i found out to be a lie then there words was we spent to much time and money into the child just to give him up.All i was asking for is so he could have my number and address so he could get in contact when hes ready but still am looking at the brick wall and dont know how to get over this one.. My question is can i force the grandparents to give me that dna test for the boy by the courts
Stupot888 - 5-Mar-17 @ 9:09 PM
hi i have been refused custody of my grandchildren becouse i was involved with social services 23 years ago with my children but it never came to anything like having bthem taken away or anything do you think i can do anything about it my daughter and partner agree that bi should have her please please please need help thanks
nothappy - 12-Jan-17 @ 3:40 PM
My grandchild is in care with grand parents at the moment her mum still has parental rights,her mum hasn't done anything wrong but will not leave the babies father who has a bad lifestyle so social services have took her of them. Can she still come and take her out because she has got legal rights
Vic - 11-Jan-17 @ 12:40 PM
M4nn13 - Your Question:
Hi there. I would really like my mother (my daughters grandma) to have parental responsibility of my daughter aswell as myself since she has no father on the birth certificate. I'm just wondering how I would go about it and if it is possible?Thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk site here which will give you further details.
ProudGrandparents - 14-Dec-16 @ 2:51 PM
Hi there. I would really like my mother (my daughters grandma) to have parental responsibility of my daughter aswell as myself since she has no father on the birth certificate. I'm just wondering how I would go about it and if it is possible? Thanks
M4nn13 - 14-Dec-16 @ 1:02 PM
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