Guardianship or Parents

Guardianship with regard to minor children

 

Guardianship of mothers and fathers

19 Parental responsibilities and rights of mothers

(1) The biological mother of a child, whether married or unmarried, has full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child.

(2) If-

(a) the biological mother of a child is an unmarried child who does not have guardianship in respect of the child; and

(b) the biological father of the child does not have guardianship in respect of the child, the guardian of the child’s biological mother is also the guardian of the child.

(3) This section does not apply in respect of a child who is the subject of a surrogacy agreement.

20 Parental responsibilities and rights of married fathers

The biological father of a child has full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child-

(a) if he is married to the child’s mother; or

(b) if he was married to the child’s mother at-

(i) the time of the child’s conception;

(ii) the time of the child’s birth; or

(iii) any time between the child’s conception and birth.

21 Parental responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers

(1) The biological father of a child who does not have parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child in terms of section 20, acquires full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child-

(a) if at the time of the child’s birth he is living with the mother in a permanent life-partnership; or

(b) if he, regardless of whether he has lived or is living with the mother-

(i) consents to be identified or successfully applies in terms of section 26 to be identified as the child’s father or pays damages in terms of customary law;

(ii) contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period; and

(iii) contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period.

(2) This section does not affect the duty of a father to contribute towards the maintenance of the child.

(3) (a) If there is a dispute between the biological father referred to in subsection (1) and the biological mother of a child with regard to the fulfilment by that father of the conditions set out in subsection (1) (a) or (b) , the matter must be referred for mediation to a family advocate, social worker, social service professional or other suitably qualified person.

(b) Any party to the mediation may have the outcome of the mediation reviewed by a court.

(4) This section applies regardless of whether the child was born before or after the commencement of this Act.

 

Need Advice?