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Protecting Parental Rights in Same-Sex Couples

The law has generally not caught up to same-sex couples and protecting their rights. What happens if you’re in a same-sex marriage and want to have children together? How can you ensure that you and your spouse have the same rights over the kids that a straight couple might have?

If you’re thinking about having children in a same-sex marriage, consider visiting a lawyer as soon as possible. No matter whether you think divorce could possibly be on the horizon, it’s crucial to establish your parental rights right away.

Why same-sex couples have issues in court

Unfortunately, our laws take time to catch up to new societal standards—and some parents are shocked at how unequal their rights are when their partner gives birth to a child. For example, in the article linked above, the mother who gave birth to the couple’s child is considered the child’s legal mother—but her partner doesn’t have any automatic rights, like a biological father or father on the birth certificate may have.

In many cases, same-sex couples have to have one or both partners legally adopt the child. That can be an expensive, time-consuming and frustrating process. It’s certainly a bigger barrier to access than couples who can biologically have a child.

What to do if you have a child from a same-sex marriage

If you have a child from a same-sex marriage, it’s important to talk to an attorney about how to establish parental rights. The non-biological parent or parents may have issues if they ever separate. To ensure that you’ll have a legal right to parent your child, your lawyer will work with you within currently accepted laws and practices. Legal adoption is just one option that can establish your rights.

When you need help establishing custody rights or adopting your child, talk to the trusted custody lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN today.

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