Natalie Gamble Associates

Parenthood: Birth mothers


A child has only one legal mother under UK law: the woman who carries and gives birth. 

Whether or not they are biological mothers, all birth mothers have the legal status of motherhood which means:

  • parental responsibility - the legal authority to make decisions about the child's care, including giving medical consent, and making decisions about education, religion etc
  • financial responsibility - the duty to provide for the child, including paying child maintenance if she does not live with the child
  • status rights - having a mother-child connection for the purposes of things like British nationality and inheritance and pension rights.