LGBTQ+ FAMILY MATTERS
We don’t just dissolve family relationships, we form family relationships. That means ALL families. That means especially the family you fought so hard to have. From finally establishing marriage equality to overcoming discrimination in fostering and adoption; for all the donor and surrogate profiles you reviewed, drugs you injected, and awful two-week waiting windows through which you held your breath to find out if the IVF round took this time; no matter what your path to become a mother or father looked like, we are here to make sure your family is 100% legally intact.
CAN WE UTILIZE A SURROGATE TO GROW OUR FAMILY?
In Florida, by statute, only a legally married couple can form a legally binding contract with a surrogate to gestate a child for them. If you had children via a surrogate before you were (or were allowed to get) legally married, prudence dictates that you consult the lawyers of Sasso & Guerrero regarding how to assure that each of the intended parents of the child born of a surrogate have a legally defensible bond. This is equally true for children born not with a surrogate, but to one of the parties before you were legally married.
WHAT IF WE WERE NOT MARRIED WHEN WE CONCEIVED AND DELIVERED OUR CHILDREN?
Generally, non-married parents must take affirmative action to establish legal parentage to a child who is born outside of marriage. This is especially true if you do not share a biological connection with the child born to the relationship (if the biological material used was that of a donor or that of the other parent).
WHAT IF WE WERE MARRIED WHEN WE CONCEIVED OR DELIVERED OUR CHILDREN?
Children born to intact marriages are presumed to be the children of the married spouses, so in a heteronormative world, as long as the parties are married, neither spouse is able to challenge the parentage of the other parent. Because the right for same-sex couples to marry is so new, the legal landscape is uncertain.
Unfortunately, the case law that has developed thusfar is almost solely comprised of cases where an unmarried biological parent in a same-sex relationship took a legal position to keep the non-biological parent away from a child they had raised together. Compounding this problem, the continued development of assisted reproductive technology means more families are opting for one parent to lend biological material to the embryo and the other parent to carry the child. In those situations, one parent is biological, but the other parent is the birth mother. Courtroom jurisprudence is left in a situation where technology outpaces legislative guidance answering the question, “Who is a parent?” We would love to believe that cases arguing this question will no longer occur between same-sex couples after marriage equality, but we just can’t be sure. Prudence mandates that no one rely solely on a presumption of parentage.
In any case in which a child is born to a same-sex relationship, whether the baby has two moms or two dads, the lawyers at Sasso & Guerrero know how to obtain court orders to unequivocally establish legal parentage. Please come to us and let us lock your legal rights in, airtight.