LGBTQ+ Adoption And Surrogacy

As we celebrate Manchester Pride this weekend, we take the time to discuss the laws surrounding LGBTQ+ adoption and surrogacy.

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By Claudia Price - 25th August 2021

What does LGBTQ+ mean?

LGBTQ+ is the more commonly used term in the community. It translates as definitions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, 2-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual, agender, gender queer, bi-gender, gender-variant and pangender.

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The law on same sex couples and adoption

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 gave unmarried couples the right to adopt, including same sex couples. However, the law was not actually changed until December 2005.

If you are a same sex couple, you don’t need to be in a civil partnership or married to adopt. You will, however, need to show that you are living together in an enduring relationship. You must be aged 21 or over. There is no upper age limit, as long as you are fit enough to cope with the rigorous expectations of parenting.

There are well established organisations that offer support groups and information for LGBTQ+ who have adopted or are thinking about adopting. This includes the New Family Social, Stonewall and the Beaumont Society.

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The law on same sex couples and surrogacy

Many same sex couples are eager to expand their family. Whilst the surrogacy process is generally the same for everyone, same sex couples do have some unique considerations to take into account.

In LGBTQ+ surrogacy, pregnancy is most commonly achieved using an egg/sperm donor, gestational carrier and invitro fertilisation (IVF). There are also some important decisions same sex couples need to make before beginning the process. Firstly, they need to decide who will be genetically related to the child. Secondly, they need to decide whether to use a known or anonymous donor.

There are many pros to surrogacy, but there are also some cons. Surrogacy is a wonderful option for same sex parents who are ready to extend their family but it is always advisable to take legal advice, before committing to a decision.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact one of our legal team.

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