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Having a child, parenting and adoption



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Parental rights and responsibilities

Who has parental responsibility for looking after children, and how to apply for parental responsibility if you were unmarried to the mother or aren't on the birth certificate

Adding a father's name to a birth certificate

Re-register your child’s birth to add the father's name to the birth record or certificate at the register office

Adoption records

If you were adopted you can access your birth records or get on the Adoption Contact Register to find birth relatives - how to apply, forms and information for birth relatives

Alcohol and young people - the law

It's illegal to buy alcohol if you're under 18 and you can be stopped, fined or arrested by the police for drinking in public

Apply for a special educational needs assessment

Apply to the council for a special educational needs (SEN) assessment for your child

Apply for short-term care for your child

Apply through your local council for short-term ('respite') care for your sick or disabled child to enable you to have a break from caring

Apply to adopt a child through your council

Apply to adopt a child through your local council if you are 21 or over and can offer a stable home to a child

Apply to foster a child through your council

Apply to foster a child through the social services department of your local council

Arrange child maintenance: the Child Maintenance Service and Child Support Agency

Child maintenance - how to work it out, how the Child Support Agency and Child Maintenance Service can help, complaints, appeals

Arranging child maintenance yourself

How to arrange child maintenance yourself without using the Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service - family-based arrangements, court orders

Become a child's legal parent

Get a parental order to become a child's legal parent - UK residency, C52 acknowledgement form, surrogacy, adoption

Child adoption

The adoption process - eligibility, assessment, adoption agencies, overseas adoptions and the rights of birth parents

Child employment

Minimum working age and pay for children, how to apply for performance licenses and what local council bylaws say about employing children

Child maintenance calculator

Work out the amount of child maintenance if you’re arranging it yourselves, or to get an idea of the statutory amounts from the Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service

Child maintenance if one parent lives abroad

What to do if you need to get child maintenance from an ex-partner who lives abroad

Child Trust Fund

Child Trust Fund accounts - find a lost account, providers, payments, managing the account

Childcare and tax credits

Tax credits for childcare costs while you work - eligibility, how much you get, childcare vouchers and working out your costs

Childcare Grant

Childcare Grants for full-time students in higher education - grants, CCG1, CCG2 forms, how to apply, eligibility

Childcare out of school hours

Childcare for your children before and after school - after-school clubs, breakfast clubs, homework clubs, childminders

Childcare vouchers: better off calculator

Use this calculator to work out if you're better off getting childcare vouchers from your employer or claiming tax credits

Complain about the Child Support Agency (CSA)

How to complain about the Child Support Agency (CSA) and what you can do if you're unhappy with their response

Contact Sure Start

Sure Start Children's Centres provide advice and support for parents and carers, from pregnancy to when a child goes to primary school

Contact the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency (CSA)

Contact the Child Support Agency (CSA) or Child Maintenance Service (CMS) about child maintenance or making deductions from employees' pay

DNA testing to solve parentage disagreements

DNA testing can solve parentage disagreements for child maintenance - when, process

Early years foundation stage

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5

Find a registered childminder

Contact your local council to find a registered childminder - Family Information Service, early years education, childcare and family support in your area

Find a Sure Start Children's Centre

Search for Sure Start Children's Centres near to your home to find out about daycare and parenting advice

Foster carers

Foster carers look after children when their parents aren't able to - becoming a foster carer, money and support available, fostering agencies

Free early education

3 and 4-year-olds in England can get 15 hours of free early education each week for 38 weeks of the year. Some 2 year-olds in England may also be eligible

Get a police check on someone involved with a child

Visit your local police station to check the background of someone involved with a child to see if they have a record of sexual offences.

Help if you have a disabled child

Your rights and the support you can get if you have a disabled child, including childcare, car costs, house adaptations and education

Help with childcare costs

There are different kinds of help you can get with the cost of childcare - vouchers, tax credits, Sure Start, Discretionary Learner Support, Childcare Grant, Care to Learn

How child maintenance is worked out

Use the child maintenance calculator to work out how much child maintenance to pay - or see the rates the Child Support Agency and Child Maintenance Service use if you're arranging child maintenance

If your child is taken into care

What happens when a child is taken into care - who is responsible for what, care proceedings, care orders, going to court and the role of Cafcass

Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISA)

How to open a Junior ISA for your child - including managing and adding money to an account.

Legal rights for egg and sperm donors

If you're a sperm or egg donor, you could be the legal parent of any child that is born

Parental leave

Employer and employee guide to unpaid parental leave - eligibility, how much leave can be taken and notice periods

Parents' Learning Allowance

Parents' Learning Allowance for full-time students with children - funding, apply, eligibility

Payment to register a birth abroad in the UK

Pay the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) if you’re eligible to register the birth of a British national abroad

Pregnant employees' rights

Legal rights for pregnant employees - including paid time off for antenatal appointments, maternity leave and pay, protection against discrimination and telling the employer about the pregnancy

Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) Unit

The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) unit deals with international child maintenance agreements in England and Wales






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