As a parent you’ve a responsibility to look after the growth, health and welfare of your child.
All children have the right to be cared for so that they can grow up and meet their full potential. As your child’s parent, you’re responsible for making sure your child’s rights are met.
The rights of all children are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Parental Responsibilities and Rights is a complex area of law. In UK law, the person who gives birth is the baby’s mother.
If you have Parental Responsibilities and Rights (PRRs), you can make major decisions about your baby, like:
PRRs are automatically given to a baby’s mother. If you’re the child’s biological father you’ll have parental responsibilities and rights if you:
It’s important to get PRRs right for your baby. If you’re unsure about what this should be, you can get legal advice.
mygov has more information about parental responsibilities and rights
It’s best for a child to grow up with the involvement of both parents in their lives, as long as this is practical and in their best interests. If there’s a dispute, you can get help to resolve it or ask a court to make a decision.
While it’s not legally binding, a Parenting Plan can help settle any differences between you and your child’s other parent as your child grows older.
mygov has more about making a parenting plan
If your baby was conceived by donor insemination or fertility treatment, and:
Your midwife or hospital staff will inform the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages that your baby’s been born.
In Scotland, you must register the birth of your baby before they’re 21 days old. If you haven’t registered the birth within 21 days, you’ll get a reminder letter from the registrar asking you to do so.
You may need to make an appointment with your local registration (register or registry) office to register the birth.
When you go to register, take:
mygov has more about registering a birth in Scotland
If you’re a transgender or non-binary parent who has given birth you’ll need to register as your baby’s mother on the birth certificate.
The Equality Network has more about trans parenting rights.
Translations and alternative formats of this information are available from Public Health Scotland.
If you need a different language or format, please contact email@example.com.
2 November 2023