Special Guardianship Orders

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Special Guardianship Orders are intended to provide another option for legal permanence for children who cannot grow up with their birth families. A Special Guardianship Order gives the special guardian/s parental responsibility for the child which lasts until the child is 18.


Special Guardianship Orders

These orders do not remove parental responsibility from the child’s birth parents, although it does limit their ability to exercise parental responsibility. In practice, this provides greater security for the child when compared to long term fostering but does not bring about the absolute legal severance from the birth family that comes from an Adoption Order.

In practice, a Special Guardianship Order means that the child is no longer the responsibility of the Local Authority, and the special guardian will have clear responsibilities for all day-to-day decisions about caring for the child or young person, and for taking important decisions about their upbringing, including their education. Both birth parents do retain their legal parental responsibility, but the special guardian only has to consult with them about these decisions in very exceptional circumstances.

Our experienced team of family and child care solicitors can advise on all aspects of obtaining or disputing a Special Guardianship Order in family proceedings.


Legal aid may be available in proceedings relating to Special Guardianship Orders. We can advise, free of charge, on whether you will qualify for legal aid and where legal aid is not available we can represent you on a reasonable private basis which can include a fixed fee arrangement.

For more information please visit our Fees & Funding page.


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