Guardianship of Infants Act 1964
F25[Power of court to appoint person other than parent as guardian
6C.—(1) The court may, on an application to it by a person who, not being a parent of the child, is eligible under subsection (2) to make such application, make an order appointing the person as guardian of a child.
(2) A person is eligible to make an application referred to in subsection (1) where he or she is over the age of 18 years and—
(a) on the date of the application, he or she—
(i) is married to or is in a civil partnership with, or has been for over 3 years a cohabitant of, a parent of the child, and
(ii) has shared with that parent responsibility for the child’s day-to-day care for a period of more than 2 years,
(b) on the date of the application—
(i) he or she has provided for the child’s day-to-day care for a continuous period of more than 12 months, and
(ii) the child has no parent or guardian who is willing or able to exercise the rights and responsibilities of guardianship in respect of the child.
(3) An application under subsection (1) shall be on notice to each person who is a parent or guardian of the child concerned.
(4) Where a person to whom subsection (2)(b) applies makes an application under subsection (1), the court shall direct that the Child and Family Agency be put on notice of the application, and have regard to the views (if any) of the Agency in deciding whether or not to make an order under subsection (1).
(5) Without prejudice to other provisions of this Act, the appointment under this section of a guardian shall not, unless the court otherwise orders, affect the prior appointment (whether under this or any other enactment) of any other person as guardian of the child.
(6) Subject to subsection (7), an order under subsection (1) shall not be made under this section without the consent of—
(a) each guardian of the child, and
(b) the applicant concerned.
(7) The court may make an order dispensing, for the purposes of this section, with the consent of a guardian of the child, if it is satisfied that the consent is unreasonably withheld and that it is in the best interests of the child to make such an order.
(8) In deciding whether or not to make an order under this section, the court shall—
(a) ensure that the child concerned, to the extent possible given his or her age and understanding, has the opportunity to make his or her views on the matter known, and have regard to those views, and
(b) have regard to the number of persons who are guardians of the child concerned, and the degree to which those persons are involved in the upbringing of the child.
(9) Where the court appoints under this section a person as guardian of a child, and one or both of the parents of that child are still living, the person so appointed shall enjoy the rights and responsibilities of a guardian specified in subsection (11) only—
(a) where the court expressly so orders, and
(b) to the extent specified in the order and in the case of the rights and responsibilities specified in any of paragraphs (a) to (e) of that subsection, subject to such limitations as are specified in the order.
(10) In deciding whether to exercise its power under subsection (9), the court shall have regard to—
(a) the relationship between the child concerned and the person appointed as guardian of the child, and
(b) the best interests of the child.
(11) The rights and responsibilities referred to in subsection (9) are the rights and responsibilities of a guardian:
(a) to decide on the child’s place of residence;
(b) to make decisions regarding the child’s religious, spiritual, cultural and linguistic upbringing;
(c) to decide with whom the child is to live;
(d) to consent to medical, dental and other health related treatment for the child, in respect of which a guardian’s consent is required;
(e) under an enactment specified in subsection (12);
(f) to place the child for adoption, and consent to the adoption of the child, under the Adoption Act 2010.
(12) The enactments referred to in subsection (11)(e) are:
(a) section 2A(2) of the Firearms Act 1925;
Inserted (18.01.2016) by Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015), s. 49, S.I. No. 12 of 2016.