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Understanding parental rights for non-biological LGBTQ+ parents

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Parenting Plan |

In Florida, the legal landscape may present unique challenges. This is why understanding parental rights is crucial for non-biological parents in LGBTQ+ families. Understanding your rights and the challenges you may face can help secure your family legally. 

Court rulings that affect non-biological LGBTQ+ parents

There are a few landmark legal precedents that affect non-biological LGBTQ+ parents. One example is Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which legalized same-sex marriage across the United States. This ruling ensures that married same-sex couples have the same parental rights as opposite-sex couples. 

Another example is Pavan v. Smith (2017). This decision reinforces the rights of same-sex couples to list themselves on their child’s birth certificate. Doing so can add an extra layer of legal security for LGBTQ+ parents.

Challenges faced by non-biological LGBTQ+ parents

LGBTQ+ non-biological parents face unique challenges that other parents may not. For many non-biological LGBTQ+ parents adoption is necessary to be legally recognized. The adoption process can be time-consuming and expensive. Also, Florida has no laws that protect same-sex parents from discrimination while adopting.

Ways to secure parental rights

Non-biological LGBTQ+ parents can use existing systems to secure their parenting rights. One option might be to draft pre-birth orders during surrogacy. Getting a pre-birth order can ensure that both parents are on the birth certificate right away.

Another option is voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (VAP). VAP is traditionally for unmarried fathers. Yet, it can sometimes apply to same-sex couples. Enacting VAP can be a valuable tool to establish parentage.

Finally, drafting a co-parenting agreement can help define each parent’s rights and responsibilities. This document can provide clarity and legal support for new parents in case of disputes.

Broad overview of LGBTQ+ parental rights

Society is changing, and with this comes more unique family structures. Advocacy and proactivity are crucial to ensure equal rights for all families. Knowing LGBTQ+ and family law can help parents navigate their rights.