31 Jan 3 Facts About Same-Sex Parental Rights
The landscape of family law in Washington is constantly evolving. Given the progressive strides taken for LGBTQ+ rights in recent years, it’s essential to stay informed and understand the legal landscape that governs same-sex parenting. Explore the facts about same-sex parental rights, including adoption, surrogacy, and custody disputes. Then, you’ll be well-versed in handling these situations if you decide to start a family with your partner.
Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Couples
Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States in 2015, same-sex couples have the same legal rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples. This has created opportunities for same-sex couples to grow their families in Washington.
When considering adoption, same-sex couples should be aware of the various types: public agency adoption, private agency adoption, and international adoption. Each type has unique legal requirements and processes, so you and your partner should consult an experienced family law attorney to navigate the journey smoothly.
Navigating the Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy is another option for same-sex couples looking to expand their family, but it comes with legal complexities. Intended parents and surrogate parents should have a legally binding surrogacy agreement in place before beginning the process.
This agreement should outline each party’s responsibilities, rights, financial compensation, medical decisions, and potential risks. The laws around surrogacy require at least one of the intended parents must be genetically related to the child. In many cases, a pre-birth order is obtained to establish the child’s legal parentage and prevent any custody disputes after the child’s birth.
Custody Disputes and Same-Sex Parents
While the legal landscape surrounding same-sex parental rights has become more inclusive, custody disputes involving same-sex couples can be complex. In some cases, only one parent may be biologically related to the child, creating potential animosity and legal challenges. It is important to delineate parentage on the birth certificate and not assume one party is “more” the parent than the other. Same sex parents are equal parents’ regardless of biology
If you are not listed on the birth certificate, Washington State recognizes the concept of “de facto” parentage, which allows non-biological parents to gain legal custody or visitation rights. De facto parents must have played a significant role in the child’s upbringing and formed a strong bond with the child.
While gender and sexuality should not be a factor in determining custody or visitation rights, you should hire an attorney in Family law in the Tri Cities, WA. This is crucial for a smooth custody dispute and for protecting parental rights.
Know Your Rights and Seek Legal Counsel
As the legal landscape for same-sex couples evolves, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the facts about same-sex parental rights. You and your partner should be aware of your rights for adoption, surrogacy, and custody disputes. Seeking experienced legal counsel from a family law attorney can help you navigate the complexities of these processes and protect your family’s rights.
If you’re looking for an experienced and professional attorney in the family law expertise, look no further than LaCoste Family Law. Give us a call today to start working with one of our attorneys.