A Year of Reflection on Legal Services for the LGBTQ Community – Family and Marriage

UK: A year of reflection on legal services for the LGBTQ community

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As we celebrate Pride Month, our lawyer Sarah White, based in our Cambridge office, reflects on the growing need for legal services for the LGBTQ community and the issues she has advised on over the past year:

I am delighted to continue to develop our LGBTQ department and to offer legal services to the LGBTQ community. Despite a growing need for such services, now that we are seeing an increase in more modern family units, my clients tell me that it remains difficult to find specialist lawyers to handle these specific types of cases.

Recently, I was involved in conducting a web interview for Bourn Hall, relating to legal issues arising from IVF treatment for lesbian couples, as well as helping Anglia Ruskin University advise a trust. local. I remain passionate about advising couples on the legal pitfalls that can arise if same-sex couples decide to start a family, especially when there is no marriage or civil partnership, and the impact that that. may have on parental responsibility for the intended child.

It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of starting a family without anticipating what can happen if the relationship breaks down or one of the parents dies. It is also evident that couples face difficulties with the so-called “sperm donation apps”, when the sperm donor then wishes to be more involved after the child is born.

One problem that seems clear is that while the courts are still relatively new to dealing with the problems that may arise, cases involving same-sex couples are becoming more and more common every year and as a result judges are becoming more familiar. more and more with the determination of these types of business. .

I’ve dealt with a number of cases over the past year regarding issues related to parental responsibility, and how it can become more problematic when parents don’t realize the legal implications when starting a new family. For example, I have dealt with cases to include those where the biological mother died and her unmarried partner was left without parental responsibility to care for their child. This required an urgent court application to remedy this and secure the child’s placement with his other legal parent.

I have also noticed an increase in surrogacy requests, and this is clearly something that is becoming more and more common in terms of options for families both in the LGBT community and indeed for those who are trying. conceive naturally but face fertility difficulties. Surrogacy remains a relatively specific area of ​​legal practice, but I am happy to confirm that Family Law Group is able to offer advice and representation with respect to related parenting order applications. We are also receiving more and more inquiries regarding adoption and parental responsibility agreements / orders.

It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to offer specialized and unique legal services to members of the LGBTQ community. We had the opportunity to receive training in the Cambridge office last year from The Encompass Network, and we continue to strive to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for our clients who may need our specialist services.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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