This chapter explores the extent to which the law recognizes that parents are different from other adults and protect parental relationships where parents are not providing physical care for their children. It focuses on the Children Act 1989, the associated case law, the regulations and the practice guidance issued by the Department of Health. The Children Act replaced the terminology of ‘parental rights’ with ‘parental responsibility’, with the intention of bringing about a change in the way parents and others viewed parental powers. In law, children are ‘children’ until they reach the age of 18 years, but many of the rights they, their parents or the local authority have to make decisions about their lives depend, not on their chronological age, but on their maturity. The Children Act 1989 requires the local authority to ascertain the wishes and feelings of children, parents and others about any decision it proposes to make, so far as it is reasonably practicable.