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.