When a child is born, his or her mother automatically has “parental responsibility”. This means she can make important decisions in a child’s life. This can include making decisions on issues such as health, education and welfare. However, not all fathers have parental responsibility automatically. Whether they do will depend on them being listed on the child’s birth certificate, or married to the child’s mother. If you don’t have parental responsibility, it is possible to get a parental responsibility order from a court. A parental responsibility order gives you the same responsibilities as your child’s mother. You can also come to an agreement with the child’s mother outside of court and get this written up into a parental responsibility agreement which then has to be correctly registered.