Parental Responsibilities and Rights

Chapter 3 of the New Children’s Act SA governs both the acquisition and loss of parental responsibilities and rights not only by the parents of the children involved but also in respect of other persons. A person may have either full or specific parental responsibilities or rights in respect of a child. The parental responsibilities and rights that a person may have in respect of a child, include the responsibility and the right to care for the child, to maintain contact with the child, to act as guardian of the child and to contribute to the maintenance of the child.

A parent or other person who acts as guardian of a child must administer and safeguard the child’s property and property interests, assist or represent the child in administrative, contractual and other legal matters or give or refuse any consent required by law in respect of the child, including consent to the child’s marriage, consent to the child’s adoption, consent to the child’s departure or removal from the Republic, consent to the child’s application for a passport; and consent to the alienation or encumbrance of any immovable property of the child.

Whenever more than one person has guardianship of a child, each one of them is competent, unless any other law or any order of a competent court specifies the contrary, to exercise independently and without the consent of the other any right or responsibility arising from such guardianship. Unless a competent court orders otherwise, the consent of all the persons that have guardianship of a child is necessary in respect of the above paragraph.

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