Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities

A child is born

Mother has full parental responsibilities and rights

Father has responsibilities and rights if:

  1. He is married to the mother
  2. He is named on the child’s birth certificate (since 4 May 2006)
  3. Mother can grant rights to father through a Parental Responsibilities and Parental Rights Agreement
  4. The father can apply to the Courts to be granted parental responsibilities and rights
  • Both have a legal responsibility to keep the child safe and promote their health, development and welfare through direction and guidance.
  • They act as the child’s legal representative

Responsibilities of Carer with a Section 11 (Kinship Care Order)

  • You have gone to Court and obtained some or all parental responsibilities and rights through a Section 11 (1) of The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, also known as a Kinship Care Order)
  • A Residence Order as part of the Order can be also be issued which states who the child should live with
  • The child may no longer be classed as a “looked after” child (there may be an exception if the child was under a supervision requirement)
  • The child is now your responsibility
  • You must safeguard and promote the child’s health, development and welfare through direction and guidance
  • You may act as the child’s legal representative

If and when a child is ill and may need to go into hospital, carers need to be aware of the healthcare rights, needs and issues relating to the child in their care. Please visit Children’s Health Scotland for further information.

  • Under S11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 the Court can also grant a contact order

Contact Order

This order regulates the arrangements for maintaining personal relations and direct contact with a child and a parent or others such as grandparent, aunt, uncle, siblings etc. Depending on the age of the child, his/her views will be considered by the court.

This may allow the parents of the child or other family members to maintain contact.

  • As this is an order of the Court you have to observe it

When kinship carers obtain a Section 11 from the Court you must confirm with the Court what parental responsibilities and rights you will have. This order will not provide consent to adopt the child.

On some occasions the parents may still have some responsibilities and rights over the child. If they do they can interfere with the decisions you make about that child. This may mean that you have to return to Court.

This can be a very distressing experience and expensive for you.