In Same-Sex Relationships, Who Has Legal Custody of Children?

The world has long looked at parenting through the lens of straight couples. Same-sex couples who wish to complete their families with children know all too well that their path to parenthood looks different.

There are many different ways to welcome children into a home these days. It is essential to understand the nuances of each situation.

What if One Woman Gave Birth, but The Other Did Not?

Lesbian couples may opt for one partner to give birth using donor sperm. In these cases, the mother who did not carry the child would formally need to adopt her child after delivery. Without this extra protection, the biological father could later seek access to the child. Or, if the pair should divorce, a judge may give preferential treatment to the birth mother.

What if A Surrogate Delivered the Child?

If a surrogate delivers the child, the hospital will not automatically list the rightful parents on the birth certificate. Partners need a pre-birth court order which states they are the intended parents. There are no surrogacy laws in Georgia, so participants must enter the process with a binding contract.

What if One Parent Brought a Child Into a Marriage?

If a mother or father had a child before marrying, the same rules for parentage would apply as would with a straight couple. The new partner would be a step-parent unless they adopt the child.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Taking steps to understand parental rights before starting the process is essential.