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A special guardian has parental responsibility for a child - all the day-to-day rights and legal responsibility of a parent in relation to their child. Special guardianship can be particularly useful for older children who may not be suitable for adoption but who could still benefit from a stable placement with a long-term carer.
Under a special guardianship order (SGO) parental responsibility may be exercised without having to seek the consent of the natural parent in all but a few instances. The special guardianship lasts until the child is 18 (unless the order is changed or discharged). The court would decide whether to grant a person special guardianship upon receiving an application.
An SGO is flexible and could be effective in a variety of situations:
Applying to be a special guardian can be done either individually or jointly - or with several others. If two people apply, they don’t need to be married. Anyone can apply to the court for special guardianship if:
Children under a special guardianship order can maintain contact with their birth family. Whereas, in adoption, it is expected children will become part of their new family and sever ties with their birth family. Under a SGO the natural parents are still legally the child's parents but their parental responsibility is limited.
If you have further questions regarding special guardianship orders or if you require legal advice about an SGO, please call 01204 377 600 and speak with AFG LAW’s expert family law team who can help. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also accredited members of The Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme.
Daniela Maggioni qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and joined AFG LAW as an associate solicitor in July 2009. Daniela has always practiced in family law work and has built up experience and knowledge in this area. She became a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel in 2009 and since that time has specialised in representing children.read more