LGBTQ, Are Your Children Legally Yours?

If you haven’t already seen the picture of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau celebrating and honoring LBGTQ people and couples, #Pride2017 in Toronto over this weekend.

As the month of June, which among many things is Gay Pride Month, comes to a close, I’m reminded of the importance of knowing your parental rights as same sex parent.

Divorce for LGBTQ couples can sometimes be a little trickier than you might expect.

Friend and Family Law Attorney Radoyka “Roe” Minaya specializes in family law for LGBTQ families and shares how when children are involved, it’s especially important to know your rights as a parent.

Roe has both knowledge and personal experience on this topic area which makes her my go to gal on this subject.

Every state is different when it comes to parental rights and in Florida, same sex parental rights are still a little unclear.

As of 2016, birth certificates didn’t allow for same sex individuals to be listed as the other parent under the “Mother” or “Father” title.

While this is changing to the more neutral “Parent 1” and “Parent 2”, it was difficult when same sex parents chose to separate because usually only one parent was listed on the child’s birth certificate.

Roe’s got 3 great tips for same sex couples who want to hold legal guardianship rights to their children.

  1. Get Married!

Now Roe’s isn’t pushing marriage, but if you are going to be together and are committed to your partner it’ll save you a whole lot of hassle if you and your partner decide to separate in the future and children are involved. Getting married allows both parents the same rights.

  1. Adopt Your Child

If you are not the birth parent of the child adopting your child will garner you the same rights as your partner.  Although it’s never fun to think that a child you helped bring into this world and raise won’t be thought of as your own, going through the adoption process will give you the same rights as a biological parent in the case of a separation.

Several steps must be made in order to adopt your child including a Home Study amongst other things.

  1.  Get Educated

Knowledge + Action = Potential Power

Get educated, know your rights, consult Google and definitely consult an attorney.  An attorney who specializes in Family Law and LBGTQ rights can help support you on this journey.

If you identify as a LBGTQ couple, live in the state of Florida and have children or are thinking about children I highly recommend reaching out to Roe Minaya.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself About “Dad”

Last month in honor of Mother’s Day, I wrote about the lessons learned from mothers and how we choose to incorporate (or reject) those lessons into our own parenting style.

Did you know, we spend 75% more on Mother’s Day than we do Father’s Day? Why are dads getting the short end of the stick when it comes to showing our affection?

Don’t forget Dad!

Dads are often forgotten when we think about parenting. Afterall, who can compete with a “Mother’s Love”?

Yet how many times do we hear, “Well, s/he needed a father figure growing up.”  The word father or dad doesn’t have to be just 1 person.  If you grew up without a dad for whatever reason I am sure you had many father figures.

Although I have 1 dad, I was blessed to have different male role models in my life each of them had a specific importance and taught me so many things.

Dads are usually known for being the “fun” parent, the parent who can fix anything, the disciplinarian or in my house the one who got in trouble.  My grandfather was always being yelled at by my grandmother for wrestling with my brother’s in the house.

Dads also get pegged often as being less emotional.

A Dad’s Love

Just like we learn from our mothers, we also learn from our fathers.

Around Mother’s Day, I asked you to consider your own childhood and how it impacted your views on parenthood.

Let’s take a look at what you learned from dad or the males in your life:

  1. What did you learn about love and relationships from your father?
  2. What things did you want to incorporate into your relationship/marriage/parenting based off your parents?
  3. What things did you not want incorporate?
  4. Rituals and traditions dad brought into our family was…
  5. A good memory that I have dad was…
  6. My dad made me feel special by…
  7. When I think of the word “dad”…
  8. Something my dad did/taught me that is important to me in our parenting is…
  9. Something my dad did that I didn’t like when I was a child was…
  10. An ideal dad or father is…

These questions can be difficult to ask, especially for adult children of abusive parents. Despite the difficulty in asking these questions, it’s important to do because it creates a roadmap for how you parent your own children and engage in a loving, healthy relationship with your partner or spouse.

This Father’s Day, I encourage you to spend a little time reflecting on what a “Father” means to you. What does being fatherly mean to you? How do you incorporate feelings of fatherhood into your own life, whether it’s by supporting your partner or spouse, embracing your role as the father in the family, or being a positive male role model in the lives of children.

If you’re looking to explore more about what it means to you to be a father, I’m just a click or phone call away at Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com or 954.401.9011.