If you are a parent who is in a same-sex relationship that is ending, you probably have many custody concerns. Regardless of your sexual orientation, parting ways with the co-parent of your child can be difficult. However, being in a same-sex relationship can present unique custody challenges.
Given the gray area that still exists around some family law policies for same-sex couples, child custody rights can be less-than-clear. The unique circumstances surrounding your relationship with your child and his or her other parent will determine the outcome of your case.
1. Custody of adopted children
If only one person in the relationship has officially adopted the child, it can be challenging for the other to obtain custody rights. This is especially true if the adoptive parent fights against it.
2. Custody of biological children of only one parent
Another common concern in same-sex relationships is the custody of biological children from only one parent. If a parent is not a biological one, he or she may be a step-parent or adoptive parent with worries about losing touch with the child.
3. Custody of children from egg donors, sperm donors and surrogates
For married same-sex couples who have relied on science to start their families, opting to be egg donors, sperm donors and surrogates. If the time comes for a divorce, they have the same rights as any other married couple.
4. Custody of children of unmarried couples
Although the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision granted married same-sex couples more clear-cut child custody rights, unmarried couples can face the most significant difficulties.
If you are ending a same-sex relationship and have child custody concerns, understanding your rights can help you simplify the situation.