The proposed amendment to the Welfare of Children Ordinance, agreed by ExCo today, Tuesday 2 February 2016 – to be subsequently presented to formal LegCo in March 2016 – will allow unmarried fathers to acquire parental responsibility for their children by registering the birth of their child with the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages.

This is a change in the law, which currently states that unmarried fathers can obtain parental responsibility for their children only through marriage with the mother, by means of a ‘parental responsibility agreement’ or by means of a Court Order. The new amendment also provides for changes to the time limit of interim orders and with official foster carers.

The public are reminded that any individuals or couples over the age of 18 interested in becoming foster carers – should contact the Safeguarding Directorate on tel: 23312 for more information.



2 February 2016


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