Stonewall Cymru | Legal parenthood
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Legal parenthood

A child can only ever have two legal parents but it is possible for more than two people to have parental responsibility 

Am I my child's legal parent?

You are automatically your child's legal parent if you are:

  • The birth parent
  • Married to / in a civil partnership with the birth parent at the time of birth.
  • In a relationship with the birth parent and you have conceived via a fertility clinic and signed the appropriate forms.
  • The biological parent if the birth parent/surrogate is not married or in a civil partnership.
  • The adoptive parent.

You are not the legal parent if you are:

  • The non-birth parent not in a civil partnership or marriage and you have conceived at home.
  • The non-biological parent in a partnership who have used a surrogate.

How do I become the legal parent?

If you used a surrogate:

If you and your partner have used a surrogate to have a child you will need to apply for a parental order. Getting a parental order transfers legal rights from the birth parent to you and your partner.

To apply for a parental order:

  • one of you needs to be the child's biological parent.
  • you need to be in a relationship where you and your partner are either: married, civil partners or living as partners.
  • the surrogate parent (and their spouse or civil partner) consent fully and freely to the order being made,
  • You must apply for a parental order within 6 months of the birth of the child
  • If you are a lesbian (non-birth parent) and you were not in a civil partnership or married to your partner at the time of conception and you conceived at home you will have to adopt your child. Please see our adoption pages for more details.


For further information please contact Stonewall Cymru's Information Service on 08000 502020 or email