There are only certain persons who are legally permitted to give consent for a child (for example for vaccination) This consent can be written or verbal.

These people are;

  • The child’s birth mother.
  • Both the child’s parents IF they were married to eachother at the time of conception or birth AND are still married to eachother at time of consultation.
  • An unmarried genetic father who is present at the child’s registration and who’s name is on the birth certificate (from 1st December 2003 only, before that date this does not apply)
  • An unmarried genetic father who has acquired parental responsibility via a court order or a parental  responsibility order.
  • A genetic father who has married the mother after the birth of the child and is still married to her.
  • The child’s legally appointed guardian
  • A person who has been given a residence order by a court regarding the child.
  • A local authority designated to have a care order for the child by a court
  • A local authority or anyone having an emergency protection order in respect of a child.
  • Grandparents, fosterparents and childminders can not give consent unless they hold a legally binding court order as above.

NB A child’s father who is not married to the mother at the time of birth or conception and who has not married her subsequently can not in law give legally binding consent for the child unless he has obtained a parental responsibility order via the court system (or unless his name is on the birth certificate from 1/12/2003)
If a person who can give legally binding consent is unable accompany a child to an appointment they may write a letter giving  consent for the named procedure/immunisation for the child and send this, signed,  with the child and carer to the appointment.