Championing LGBTQ+ Rights: How Family Solicitors Help with Same-Sex Marriage, Adoption, and Parental Rights

Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community can be challenging due to the inequalities that can be found in the law. Although the government has made changes to become more inclusive in areas such as marriage and adoption, it can still be hard to navigate your way through the system. This is where a firm of reliable and expert family solicitors can help.

Understanding LGBTQ+ family law

LGBTQ+ people are often faced with challenges which people who do not identify the same way will not. For example, things such as marriage and adoption can be more challenging to achieve for an LGBTQ+ person.

With same-sex marriage being legal since 2014 in England, Wales and Scotland and 2020 in Northern Ireland, couples have been celebrating this change. Although cohabitation is still a popular option for LGBTQ+ couples, it does not offer the same protections legally that marriage does.

The route to adoption is also more difficult legally. If not done correctly, it can result in one parent not having legal custody of the child. Which can mean that if a relationship breaks down, one parent can be left out of any decisions involving the child.

Same-sex marriage

The first legal same-sex marriage ceremonies took place in England and Wales on 29th March 2014 as soon as the law came into effect. Since the law was changed, many same-sex couples have taken advantage of getting married with 2,811 taking place in 2020 alone.

Being able to marry the person you love regardless of gender or sexual orientation has had a great boost in the mental health of the people involved.

When planning a same-sex wedding, it would be a good idea to consult a family solicitor. They will be able to aid you in tasks such as obtaining marriage licenses, changing surnames and navigating any potential legal issues.

Adoption and parental rights

Throughout history it has been possible for a single person, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, to be able to adopt a child. In December 2005 the law was changed to allow unmarried couples including same-sex couples to be granted adoption orders.

In 2006 a law based on the equal treatment of people was passed meaning that you cannot be discriminated against for various factors including your sexual orientation. This gives LGBTQ+ people protection, especially in spaces such as the world of adoption.

By having a family lawyer on your side during this process you can make sure everything is above board legally and they can protect you from any discrimination.

The role of family solicitors

Whatever your specific circumstance, a family lawyer will be able to help you. They can advocate on your behalf through an adoption process. Putting in protection for your family through a surrogacy pregnancy is key also, to ensure that all parties are safe and happy. When it comes to marriage, lawyers can help to draft any prenuptial agreements you may want, or navigate the process to change a civil partnership to a marriage.

Although family solicitors are amazing at the legal work, they can also be a great support emotionally. A good lawyer will recognise that the emotional needs of an LGBTQ+ client may be different to a heterosexual client due to the experiences they have had to deal with previously. This is why it is important to find a lawyer that works with you.