LGBT+ Parenting – Looking at the options

Posted by Eve Piffaretti, 27th June 2019

This article was first published in the June edition of the Family Law Journal by Legalease and you can download the it here.

Eve Piffaretti and Alison Craggs set out the ways in which an LGBT+ person may become a parent, and the legal obstacles they may face in doing so.

An LGBT+ person wanting to become a parent may decide to foster or adopt a child, or have fertility treatment if they want to have a child that is genetically linked to them. In this article we explore the legal status of LGBT+ parenting where a single person or couple raise one or more children as parents. Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS Families and Households 2017) show that there are 34,000 same-sex married couples in the UK, and of them 6,000 have dependent children; that there are 55,000 civil partnership couples, 8,000 of which have dependent children; and that there are 101,000 same-sex cohabiting couples, 4,000 of which have dependent children.

The options include:

  • Fostering and adoption – LGBT+ people are able to foster and adopt a child either as an individual or as a couple. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA 2002) reformed adoption law to provide for adoption orders to be made in favour of single people, married couples and unmarried couples.
  • Surrogacy – When a woman bears a child on behalf of someone else or a couple who are unable to conceive or carry a child themselves and who then intend to become the child’s parents, is increasingly becoming an option for single-sex and trans couples wanting to have a child.

LGBT+ people are increasingly becoming parents either as individuals or as couples, but the law has struggled to keep pace with the creation of families in varied and non-traditional ways.

To read the full article, click here.


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