Annex F – Parental Responsibilities And Rights
1.Part 1 of The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 sets out:
If you have parental responsibilities for a child, you are expected to fulfill certain legal duties in respect of looking after them. You are required to:
- safeguard their health, development and welfare;
- give them direction and guidance in line with their stage of development;
- maintain personal relations and direct contact with the child on a regular basis, where they are not living with you; and
- act as their legal representative.
2.Parental rights enable you to fulfill these duties. If you have parental rights then you are entitled to:
- have a child live with you or otherwise regulate their residence;
- control, direct or guide their upbringing, in a manner appropriate to their stage of development, for example, deciding how the child should be educated;
- maintain personal relations and direct contact with them on a regular basis if they are not living with you; and
- act as the child’s legal representative.
3. A child’s mother automatically has PRRs in relation to their child.
4.A father will have PRRs if:
- when the child was conceived the father was married to the child’s mother or subsequently marries them;
- the mother and father jointly register the child’s birth (this applies to births registered on or after 4 May 2006);
- the mother and father complete and register a Parental Responsibilities and Rights Agreement; or
- a court so orders.
5. Others can ask the court for PRRs to be given to them.
6.One example is a parental order made by a court under section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. In this case, the intended parent or parents in a surrogacy arrangement seek to take over PRRs from the child’s legal parent(s).
7.The surrogate mother is automatically considered as the legal parent of a child even where she is not genetically related to them. The surrogate mother’s husband is also automatically considered to be the legal parent of a surrogate baby where he was married to the surrogate mother at the time of her artificial insemination or when the embryo or sperm and eggs were placed in her. When a parental order is granted to the intending parents, (those who commissioned the surrogacy arrangement), the surrogate mother and father stop having PRRs for the child. A parental order made by a Scottish court is registered in the Parental Order Register maintained by the Registrar General for Scotland.
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