Over the last few weeks quite a few of my friends have had babies – some of them the first child in the family. After chatting with them I wondered about what it is like to become a parent and the impact that it has on your life.
When you become a parent, your whole life changes, everything changes, things that seemed really important suddenly don’t matter any more. You now have to put someone else’s needs before your own all day, every day. It doesn’t stop when they reach eighteen either, parental responsibility is for the rest of your life.
Parental Responsibility – What Is It?
Well, the law says it is this “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has”, but what does that actually mean?
To put it simply, if you have parental responsibility, your most important roles are to:
- provide a home for the child
- protect and maintain the child
It doesn’t end there though, you’re also responsible for:
- disciplining the child
- choosing and providing for the child’s education
- agreeing to the child’s medical treatment
- naming the child and agreeing to any change of name
- looking after the child’s property
Having a baby means that you have a parental responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of that child from the day they are born.
As soon as you become pregnant you are continually given information and advice about a range of topics – from breastfeeding and weaning, to immunisation and education. All too often though, once you have given birth and the initial few weeks of midwife visits are over, you can feel left on your own, wondering what you should do. This is where a good support network of family and friends is invaluable, and it will become even more so if you were to suddenly pass away. At that point your child will need a legal guardian to take on the parental responsibility…
If you wish to find out more about what that means and how we can help then complete the form below and we will send your our Guardians – Q&A Fact Sheet.