Special Guardianship

Apply to legally take parental responsibility for a child you look after


Special guardianship is a court order that gives you parental responsibility for a child or young person and allows them to live with you permanently.

This gives the child a family to live with through into adulthood.

The child can still have a relationship with their birth parents, where possible.

Parental responsibility

Being a special guardian means that you will have parental responsibility for the child, giving you the right to make decisions about the child's care and upbringing.

You don't have to consult the child's birth parents before you make these decisions.

However, you would have to inform the child's parents if you:

  • place the child for adoption
  • change the child's surname
  • take the child out of the UK for more than 3 months

You must also inform the birth parents if the child dies.