According to the U.S. Census, approximately 191,000 children were living in LGBTQ+ households in 2019. With this number increasing, Florida has seen significant progress in recognizing and upholding the custody rights of LGBTQ+ couples.
Understanding the legal landscape and your rights as parents is important for same-sex couples. Here are some frequently asked questions about LGBTQ+ custody arrangements.
Can both partners in a same-sex couple be legal parents of a child?
Yes, Florida recognizes both partners in a same-sex couple as legal parents of a child, especially if they are in a recognized partnership.
Do we still have custody rights if we are not in a legal partnership?
Even if you are not in a legal partnership, the law extends custody rights to LGBTQ+ couples, especially when they are the child’s parents in the eyes of the courts.
Can one partner in an LGBTQ+ relationship adopt their partner’s biological child?
Adoption laws in Florida permit one partner to adopt the biological child of the other partner, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The courts refer to this as a stepparent adoption.
What if we used assisted reproduction methods?
If you utilize assisted reproduction methods like surrogacy or donor insemination, it is essential to establish clear legal agreements regarding parental rights.
Is a legal parenting agreement or co-parenting plan necessary?
LGBTQ+ couples should create legal documents like parenting agreements or co-parenting plans. These documents outline custody arrangements, visitation schedules and other matters to protect your rights.
Can we attain joint custody without legal recognition?
LGBTQ+ couples not legally recognized as a couple can establish joint custody arrangements. The process may vary based on local laws.
Knowing your legal standing and taking proactive steps, such as creating legal documents, are ways to maintain your family’s rights.