Emma Rutherford appears in Upper Tribunal case on parental responsibility.
For the Applicant: Ms E Rutherford instructed by Cartwright King Solicitors
For the Respondent: Mr V Mandalia, instructed by the Government Legal Department
- It is not necessary for an individual to have "parental responsibility" in law for there to exist a parental relationship.
- Whether a person who is not a biological parent is in a "parental relationship" with a child for the purposes of s.117B(6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 depends on the individual circumstances and whether the role that individual plays establishes he or she has "stepped into the shoes" of a parent.
- Applying that approach, apart from the situation of split families where relationships between parents have broken down and an actual or de facto step-parent exists, it will be unusual, but not impossible, for more than 2 individuals to have a "parental relationship" with a child. However, the relationships between a child and professional or voluntary carers or family friends are not "parental relationships".