In Re J (A Minor) (Prohibited Steps Order: Circumcision): CA 22 Dec 1999

Where there was a dispute between parents as to the necessity or propriety of circumcising a child, it was appropriate that the court should be involved to make the decision. Such decisions were vital to the child’s upbringing and irreversible. Here the court had properly considered the matters before him. One parent was not able to make such a decision against the wishes of the other. The circumcision of the child should only be carried out where the parents agree or where a court, in settling the dispute between them, decides that the operation is in the best interests of the child. The President said ‘There is, in my view, a small group of important decisions made on behalf of a child which, in the absence of agreement of those with parental responsibility, ought not to be carried out or arranged by one parent carer although she has parental responsibility under section 2(7) of the Children Act 1989. Such a decision ought not to be made without the specific approval of the court. Sterilisation is one example. The change of a child’s surname is another.’


Times 22-Dec-1999, [2000] 1 FLR 571


Children Act 1989 2(7)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedIn re C (a Child) (Immunisation: Parental rights); In re F (a Child) (Imminisation: Parental rights) CA 30-Jul-2003
In two actions heard together, single mothers resisted attempts to have their children immunised at the behest of the fathers, who in each case had parental responsibility.
Held: A one-parent carer did not have the freedom to make such a . .
CitedB (A Child); Re C (Welfare of Child: Immunisation) CA 30-Jul-2003
The father sought a specific issue order for the immunisation of his child in particular with the MMR vaccine. The mother opposed all immunisation.
Held: Whether a child was to be refused immunisation was an issue on which both parents should . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.81957