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A married father is an automatic guardian of his child when that child is born. However, the same rights do not apply to unmarried fathers. They do not have an automatic right of guardianship. An unmarried father must either obtain a declaration signed by the child’s mother appointing him as a joint guardian or alternatively must make a Court application to be appointed a joint legal guardian.

The fact that a father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate does not mean that they are legal guardians and does not afford them any rights in that regard.

For further information and advice regarding your legal rights and entitlements please do not hesitate to contact Averil Field on 01 629119 or by completing the online enquiry form.

Useful Addresses:

Legal Aid Board  

Kildare Law Centre
Canning Place
Co. Kildare

Telephone: 045 435777

St Stephens House
Earlsfort Terrace
Dublin 2

Telephone: 01 6615811

Courts Offices