Same-sex couples, whether married or common-law, have the same rights and responsibilities as their heterosexual counterparts. From ensuring that same-sex families with more than two parents have equal parenting responsibilities to recognizing issues often associated with assisted reproduction, some practical considerations often need to be made when navigating certain obstacles.
Same-Sex Parents and Adoption
In British Columbia, same-sex couples can bring joint applications for adopting a child within the country. As with heterosexual couples, potential parents must go through the province’s five step program before being placed with a child.
Same-Sex Parents and Assisted Conception
The British Columbia government recognizes same-sex couples as having equal parental rights, as is the case with heterosexual parents. Unlike other provinces where laws regulate who may be named as a parent on the child’s birth certificate, BC allows for up to four names, recognizing that families are formed in different ways and should not be limited by outdated definitions.
Same-Sex Parents and Custody
When it comes to spending time with children, same-sex parents may decide the best way to manage custody as it relates to their situation. In British Columbia, the Family Law Act applies to both married and common-law couples in the same way whereas the federal Divorce Act is only applicable to couples who were married. Depending on their circumstances, parents may choose from several options when it comes to deciding how to spend time with and care for their children after a separation or divorce.
Navigating family law as a same-sex couple can present its own unique challenges. Working alongside a skilled family lawyer with experience handling LGBTTQ considerations can be a valuable tool in ensuring that a family’s best interests are being protected.