Who can make decisions about the child

The important decisions about how a child is raised (such as medical treatment, going on a school trip, going abroad etc.) can only made by someone who has Parental Responsibility for a child.

Residence Orders and Special Guardianship Orders both give you Parental Responsibility for the child (i.e. the right to make decisions). They do not take Parental Responsibility away from anyone who has it already (usually the child’s parents).

There are some differences between a Residence Order and a Special Guardianship Order in terms of the decisions you can take:

  • If you have a Special Guardianship Order, you almost never have to ask other people with Parental Responsibility when you are making decisions about the child (except if you want to take the child abroad for more than three months or change the child’s name).
  • If you have a Residence Order, you will need to get the agreement of the other people with Parental Responsibility if you want to take the child out of the country for more than 28 days.

 

Frequently asked questions

Can I adopt the child I am caring for?

How do I apply for a Residence Order?

How do I apply for a Special Guardianship Order?

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