We have a wealth of experience in dealing with applications by non-parents and have recently successfully represented grandparents in applications concerning care of their grandchildren.
Since the Adoption and Children Act 2002 was introduced, non-parents are able to apply for Special Guardianship Orders. A person with a Special Guardianship Order will have parental responsibility for a child who lives with them and will be entitled to make day to day decisions for the child without the agreement of the child’s parents or anyone else who has parental responsibility.
These applications are commonly made by grandparents, step parents, aunts, uncles or friends of the family who are looking after children on behalf of a parent who is unable to do so.
Non-parents can also apply for a Child Arrangements Order to allow them to see a child they have a relationship with. For example, grandparents who wish to have contact with their grandchildren or step parents who have lost contact with children they previously looked after before a separation.
It is necessary for non-parents to get the permission of the Court before make any application as the Court need to be satisfied that the adult applying has a good reason for making their application.