You act as a parent to someone else’s child
Some children are looked after by a family member or friend instead of their parents.
If you start looking after and supporting someone else's child as if it were your own child, you can get child benefit if:
- no-one else gets child benefit for the child;
- you pay the child's expenses. If you receive compensation for foster care, you will not get child benefit.
- the child lives with you and you raise and care for the child on a daily basis, as if you were his or her guardian.
Are you the legal guardian of a child?
You are the legal guardian of a child if you have been granted guardianship by the courts. In that case, you are entitled to child benefit, even if the guardianship is temporary.
Does the natural parent have parental resposibility for the child?
Is there a natural parent who still has parental responsibility for the child, that is, a parent who is responsible for raising and caring for the child? If so, the child benefit is paid in principle to the natural parent. However, he or she can choose to have the child benefit paid to the foster parent. This has to be agreed first between the natural parent and the foster parent.
Your partner's child has started living with you
In that case, you can receive child benefit for your partner's child providing you and your partner are married, in a registered partnership or living together.
Your partner may have made agreements with the child's other legal or natural parent, for example, a co-parenting agreement. In that case, which parent can receive child benefit will depend on the agreements made.