With the landmark Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal across the United States, same-sex couples now have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples in any state. However, marriage is just one aspect of family life, and each state governs many other aspects of family law differently. For example, in Michigan, LGBT parents do not always have the same rights under state law as heterosexual couples. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples who wish to become parents or are already parenting, it is important to understand aspects of how the law governs their status.
There are 3 things to know about LGBT parenting. Here are three basics to keep in mind.
- Legal issues underlying pregnancy – One way that a same-sex couple may decide to have a child is through artificial insemination from a sperm donor. However, they need to closely consider parenting rights from a legal standpoint so that everyone involved is on the same page in terms of rights and responsibilities regarding the child.
- Discrimination against adoption for LGBT parents – Same-sex couples who have been denied adoption services should seek advice and assistance of a family law attorney.
- Second parents can adopt in Michigan – Not only do same-sex couples have the right to adopt children in Michigan, but the courts have also ruled that second-parent adoptions are valid. This is important in cases where one partner has already adopted a child and their new partner wishes to adopt the child as well. This is also pertinent in cases when a former partner tries to take away parental rights from a second parent in a same-sex couple after they have separated.
Jay A. Schwartz is an attorney in Michigan. Read more here.