Gay Adoption UK | Read time 8 Minutes.

Gay adoption in the UK is increasingly prevalent amongst LGBT couples looking to start a family. With society’s attitudes changing faster than ever, LGBT families have grown, and same-sex couples with children are becoming more commonplace. This article defines the options available to same-sex adoption.

We will also cover the critical factors within the adoption processes, how a legal consultation can assist with making gay adoption in the UK stress-free, and finally how a lawyer can help you select the most suitable adoption process.

The process of adoption is a life-changing experience. Adopting can be daunting for anyone; however, sourcing the correct legal assistance can ensure the process runs smoothly.

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GAY ADOPTION UK: What options are available? 

Historically, the only method of gay adoption in the UK was co-parenting. However, this has changed as a result of technological advancement. Therefore, this has led to surrogacy and donor insemination becoming increasingly popular (and legal) options for adoption.

The four options for gay adoption in the UK are:

  1. Co-parenting
  2. Adoption
  3. Surrogacy
  4. Donor Insemination
GAY ADOPTION UK: What is Co-parenting?

Co-parenting is an arrangement between two or more individuals in parenting a child together. Co-parenting is most common when couples who have children get divorced on friendly terms and agree to choose to both have parental responsibility.

There are several ways that co-parenting can come about, including:

  • When a couple gets divorced, but both parents choose to continue parenting their child together
  • When one half of a divorced couple has full custody of a child and meets someone else, and they choose to raise their child with their new partner
  • If a couple adopts a child and chooses to bring another partner into the relationship and they agree to share parental responsibilities equally across all 3 adults

Co-parenting isn’t exclusively a type of gay adoption, however, it’s one method that can be used by same-sex couples. In addition, there are several essential factors within a co-parent arrangement which need to be considered, such as:

  1. Deciding if both of you are legally recognised as a child’s guardian
  2. How you will divide the financial costings (and with any other biological parents the child has)
  3. The exact responsibilities that each parent will undertake
  4. The level of involvement each parent will have with any children

The co-parenting agreements can be formal or informal. A formal agreement requires legal advice early in acquiring a co-parenting agreement. It is advised as the arrangement is not legally binding. Moreover, the order entails you will not have sole custody of the child. For more information on seeking the most suited adoption process, please click here to seek expert legal advice.

GAY ADOPTION UK: What is an Adoption order?

An adoption order is a legal arrangement that assigns adoptive parents as the child’s legal parental guardians. The adoption order is the most permanent option for adoptive parents to acquire parental legal responsibility of a child.

However, the process of this arrangement can be very complex and involves strategic factors that a court will consider before granting the adoption order. These factors can include, the child’s needs, the child’s age, sex, background, and characteristics, the child’s relationship with existing relatives, and their entitlement to inheritance. Therefore, due to the complex nature surrounding adoption, the court will only grant an adoption order if it is for the child’s best interest.

To seek legal advice before acquiring an adoption will ensure you have assistance in the process of understanding legal documents. Additionally, it will help reduce the stress caused by the complex nature of the process. Please don’t hesitate to seek our help. We offer expert family law services that can guide you through a gay adoption. Please click here to visit our family law page or contact us page.

GAY ADOPTION UK: What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is an arrangement by which a woman decides to conceive a child for another person who will agree to be the child’s parental guardian after birth. Moreover, surrogacy can be used as a type of gay adoption as the legal parenthood can be assigned either by parental order or adoption once the child is born.

There are complex legal issues within the process of surrogacy. For example, the surrogate (the woman who carried the child) is recognised as the child’s mother despite not being genetically related. As well as this a surrogate arrangement is not legally binding, and the court can only grant a parental order six weeks after the birth of the child. Within the UK, there have been various documented surrogacy cases where the intended parents have not received a child. This is because surrogate has decided against the arrangement later within the process. However, seeking legal advice early within the process of surrogacy can ensure that if the dispute goes to family court, you will have the best chance of success.

A trained professional is critical to ensure clarity whilst negotiating such a sensitive process. It can help you to understand the responsibilities you will have to the surrogate. Furthermore, it allows you to know where you are positioned from a legal perspective with your child. For more information regarding surrogacy and the legal rights of the parents and surrogate, please visit the family law page and our contact now page.

What is Donor Insemination?

The process of donor insemination is an individual using donated sperm to conceive a child. Same-sex women commonly use the arrangement of donor insemination in a relationship as a gay adoption method. However, it is also used by a woman who is seeking to conceive a child without a significant other. Within the UK all licensed clinics which specialise in donor insemination are regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

A key factor of using donor insemination which you need to be aware of is that the decisions you make may have implications to who is defined by law as the parental guardian of your child. Furthermore, through seeking legal advice from the start of the process can ensure the emotional dynamics and legal disputes surrounding donor insemination consent are handled with professional care, to give you the best outcome.

To talk to a trained professional about the most suited gay adoption process for you, please click here.

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LGBT Lawyers offers specialist adoption lawyers who will:

  1. Assess your case
  2. Strategically select the best route for your adoption.
  3. Provide clarity whilst you move to the next step of your gay adoption route.

If you would like to ensure you pick the most suited gay adoption pathway or have any inquiries about the information above, please get in contact with our specialist adoption solicitors through our contact us page, or call us on 020 3795 9020. Our trained legal professionals will assist you with the correct guidance and ensure the selected adoption route is processed correctly.