Same Sex Parenting | Divorce Lawyers & Family Law Solicitors | Austin Kemp

Child Law

Same Sex Parenting

It is nearly always essential that same sex parents seek out a divorce solicitor with experience handling these more complex legal situations.

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Because same sex parenting laws differ based on the circumstances of their relationship, it is nearly always essential that parents seek out a divorce solicitor with experience handling these more complex legal situations.

When you are facing divorce or separation, the legal team at Austin Kemp can provide you with guidance and ensure you fully understand your rights under the laws in England and Wales.

Understanding the Complexities of Same Sex Parenting

Under the law, children may only have two legal parents in most situations. However, under the law, someone that is legally a parent does not automatically mean they are given parental responsibility of the child. Biology is not the only factor that is considered when determining parental rights.

If you are going through a separation, it can be critical that you have legal representation as you work to define the rights of each parent. That includes understanding your rights as a parent – whether you are a biological, legal, or psychological parent. The responsibilities of parenting can also be very different in each situation.

Who Is the Child’s Legal Parent?

It may not seem like defining who the child’s legal parent is, yet there are several key reasons why it is critical to define who the legal parents are.

  • Legal parents – only – can be added to the child’s birth certificate.
  • The legal parent has financial responsibility for the child.
  • The legal parent has the right to apply to the Court for orders for the child.
  • A legal parent also can be critical when it comes to inheritance.

Because of how critical this process is, same sex parents must take steps to protect their legal rights.

Who Is the Legal Parent in a Same Sex Relationship?

The area that becomes confusing and often difficult to navigate relates to the biological parenting of the child. To be a legal parent of the child, one of the following must apply.

Birth mother

The woman who carries the baby and gives birth, even if the child is not biologically her own, is considered the legal parent and has parental responsibility for the child. In situations of surrogacy the Court can remove this parental status in situations such as surrogacy or adoption.

The other legal parent of the child may be defined based on how the child is conceived, as well as factors related to the marital or civil partnership the parent was in and what occurred after birth. Here are some examples.


The other legal parent could be the biological father and is given parental responsibility if the father is listed on the birth certificate.

Artificial insemination

When the birth mother is married or in a civil partnership, her spouse or partner is considered the other legal parent. That person has parental responsibility.

In situations where the birth mother is not in such a relationship, the partner is not immediately recognised as a legal parent.

Licensed clinic

If artificial insemination occurs in a licensed clinic, the birth mother and the birth mother’s parent are awarded legal parent status. If they are married or in a civil partnership, the partner or spouse of the birth mother is given parental responsibility. If they are not in a civil partnership or married, the other party can gain parental responsibility if they are named on the child’s birth certificate.

There are other situations where a legal change can occur that could lead to parental rights changing. The Court can order these changes in cases of adoption or surrogacy.

How Can a Parent Obtain Parental Responsibility?

One of the ways our same sex parenting solicitor can help you is by working to help you to obtain parental responsibility if you do not automatically have it. There are several ways that this can be done legally:

  • A parental responsibility agreement is created by both parties and agreed upon
  • A parental responsibility order is created
  • Child arrangement orders for “live with” are created
  • A parental order is required
  • An adoption order is created

How Is This Impacted During Divorce?

In situations where a divorce or separation is occurring, it is critical for parents to take steps to better understand the rights and responsibilities they have now and to take legal steps to make adjustments if necessary. Most often, the goal is to create a fair divorce settlement. With that also comes the desire, in most situations, to ensure that a child receives the type and level of care they need.

The Court’s goal is nearly always to meet the specific needs of the child – providing care that supports a relationship with both parents when that is safe and beneficial to the child.

If you are going through this process, we encourage you to learn what you are entitled to in a divorce right now and what legal rights you may petition the Court for if your child is not biologically yours or if you are not identified as the legal parent right now.

How Can Austin Kemp’s Divorce Solicitors Help You?

The family law solicitors at Austin Kemp provide legal support to parents in all situations. That includes initially filing for legal rights and parental responsibilities as well as helping to create a divorce settlement and financial order that meets the needs of the family.

Allow our team to help you with the entire process:

  • Let us help you petition the Court to become the legal parent
  • Enable our team to assist you in surrogacy and adoption matters
  • Put your trust in us as we help you navigate child custody and child maintenance after a divorce or separation
  • Allow us to explain the rights you may lose in a separation if you are not the legal parent
  • Learn what legal options you have if you want to prove the paternity of a child

Contact our team today to learn what your legal options are. The family law solicitors at Austin Kemp are highly experienced in helping people to find the support they need in these difficult situations. Contact us now for a consultation to discuss your case.

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