So when we separated I had no Legal rights to my children.
When you start your journey into becoming a parent, very little thought is given to how equal you will really be over the rights surrounding your children. Well at least we didn’t give this much thought, why would we? We were settled in our relationship and trusted each other.
Before we had the children we booked in to speak to a solicitor (while T Was pregnant) and were told that it would be fine and she could just authorise me to have parental rights through a retrospective application to change their birth certificates once we were married. They were wrong. This luxury is only afforded to heterosexual couples who were unmarried when the children were born.
So for any other two mum families I thought I would try to simplify stuff.
A child’s second legal parent, at birth, will depend on the circumstances at the time of their conception.
IF like us your children were conceived at home while you were not married or in a civil partnership, via a private agreement with the donor remaining anonymous (not through sex; This is important).
Then you have 2 main options.
The first is adoption. It would be classed as step parent adoption. This is a long drawn out process and requires some scrutiny from local authorities. It’s costly and there are quite a few hoops to jump through. You can find more information here via the .gov website
The second is that the biological mum can grant the non biological mum Step parent prenatal responsibility by both filling in this form and having it witnessed by a court clerk. You have to both go to the court, and sign it there. – This is what we did.
There is an option 3 but that would have to go through a hearing with a judge.
Here is what the GOV website says:
Same-sex partners will both have parental responsibility if they were civil partners/married at the time of the treatment, eg donor insemination or fertility treatment.
**(NOT AT HOME INSEMINATION)**
For same-sex partners who aren’t civil partners, the 2nd parent can get parental responsibility by either:
- applying for parental responsibility if a parental agreement was made
- becoming a civil partner of the other parent and making a parental responsibility agreement or jointly registering the birth
Please bare in mind the above only applies if you did AI at home without any clinical intervention.
If you are having a baby through a clinic then the rules are a bit different. You can read about them here.
Anyway, 11 years after Dylan was born and I finally have legal rights.
This is partially down to not really needing to have them as T had them, but also because locally they are so ill-equipped to deal with anyone other than a heterosexual couple or single parent.
My endeavours into rectifying this were hard going! I turned up at a court, with T and all the proofs of ID we needed to get the papers signed and hopefully rectify all of this! Also gives us peace of mind that if I ever needed to make an important medical decision or the kids needed an advocate and T couldn’t do it, then legally I could. The issue is that the court didn’t even know what to do so we ended up sending the applications but not any documents as these had been checked by the clerk at the court. BUT they wrote to me for the documents. I posted them off and BOOM! now I have PR!