Joint birth registration
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 who isn't married to 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 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 in a civil partnership or in a same-sex marriage 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 in a same sex marriage or civil partnership the fertility clinic should help make sure you fill in the forms you need for a second female parent to have parental responsibilities and rights (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 before it takes effect.