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Parental Responsibility

All mothers, whether married or unmarried, automatically have parental responsibility for any child born to them. However, prior to 1 November 2013 an unmarried father did not automatically gain parental responsibility for a child, even if they were registered as the father on the child's birth certificate. The Children and Young Persons (Amendment) Act 2013 made an amendment to the Children and Young Persons Act 2001 that from 1 November 2013 an unmarried father would automatically gain parental responsibility by jointly registering the child's birth with the child's mother.

For a child born on or after 1 November 2013:

  1. All mothers, whether married or unmarried, automatically acquire parental responsibility for any child born to them

  2. Fathers, whether married or unmarried, automatically acquire parental responsibility by jointly registering the child's birth with the child's mother and the father’s name appears on the birth certificate.


For a child born before the 1 November 2013:

  1. If a child's parents are married, both parents have parental responsibility and either parent can sign section 8, so long as their name appears on the birth certificate.

  2. If a child's parents are divorced but were either married at the time of the child's birth or subsequently married following the child's birth, both parents have parental responsibility and either parent can sign section 8, so long as their name appears on the birth certificate. Unless this has been amended by a court order.

  3. Unmarried parents:
    • Mothers automatically have parental responsibility for any child born to them
    • Unmarried fathers did not automatically gain parental responsibility even if he was registered as the child's father. Parental responsibility could have been acquired with a parental responsibility agreement or court order. This must be submitted with the passport application.

Please note: If you are applying for your child's first passport, the Isle of Man passport service must see evidence of parental responsibility if the father has signed the application form.

If a court has made an order regarding parental responsibility or ordering restrictions on the issuance of a passport, this must be submitted with the passport application.

If another adult is acting as a parent, we will need proof of this. If the child is in care or is living with foster parents, we may need permission from the local authority before we can issue a passport to the child.

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