Having 'parental responsibilities and rights' (PRRs) means that each parent has a legal duty to decide how best to look after a child.
Joint birth registration is one way for a father or second female parent who is not married to or in a civil partnership with the mother to get PRRs.
A mother's parental responsibilities and rights
The birth mother of a child always has PRRs in relation to the child, unless a court has removed them.
A father's parental responsibilities and rights
The father of a child has PRRs in relation to the child if:
- he was married to or in a civil partnership with the child's mother at the time of the child's conception or afterwards
- he's registered as the father of the child (after 4 May 2006)
- he's given them through a parental responsibilities and parental rights agreement
- he is given them by a court order
Same sex parents' parental responsibilities and rights
If the child's parents are a mother and a second female parent, the second female parent will have PRRs for the child if:
- she's married to or in a civil partnership with someone at the time they have fertility or donor insemination treatment
- she's registered as the second female parent of the child (after 1 September 2009)
- she's given them through a parental responsibilities and parental rights agreement
- she's given them by a court order
If you're not married or in a civil partnership the fertility clinic should help make sure you fill in the forms you need for the mother's partner to be the second female parent. Make sure to ask the fertility clinic about this.
Parental responsibilities and rights agreements
Parents who complete a parental responsibilities and parental rights agreement have to register the agreement in the Books of Council and Session (Register of Deeds) before it takes effect.
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