Fast facts: same-sex families

Two women in a same sex relationship kissing at their wedding holding a babyCan I enter into a civil partnership?

Yes, if you are over 18 and not already in a civil partnership or married.

Where can I make the commitment?

There are certain offices where the registration can take place, e.g. hotels, restaurants, country houses.

The registration does not include a ceremony but if you wish to have a ceremony this can be requested from the registration authority. No religious references are allowed and you will need 2 witnesses.

What rights and responsibilities come with entering into a civil partnership?

  • State benefits, pensions and tax assessments will be treated as joint applications rather than single
  • Rights to the benefits that arise from employment, private pensions and life assurance
  • Protection by domestic violence laws
  • Immigration rights
  • Exemption from testifying against your civil partner in court
  • You may become a step-parent
  • If you are in a lesbian partnership, any child conceived to one will be presumed to be the child of both partners
  • Rights on intestacy/divorce/inheritance

I am a lesbian, can I and my partner become the legal parents of a child?

Whether you are in a civil partnership or part of an enduring relationship you can both become the legal parents of a child in the following circumstances:

  • When treated at a licensed fertility clinic using donor sperm and/or donor eggs
  • When a joint application is made for a parental order following a surrogacy arrangement
  • When an application is made to adopt a child

If you are in a civil partnership and a child is conceived using known donor sperm at home, then the non-birth mother would be the second legal parent, providing the insemination is artificial. If you are not in a civil partnership then the donor would be the legal father.

I am gay, can I and my partner become the legal parents of a child?

Whether you are in a civil partnership or part of an enduring relationship you can become the legal parent of a child in the following circumstances:

  • When a joint application is made for a parental order following a surrogacy arrangement
  • When an application is made to adopt a child

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Lester Aldridge LLP

About Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP is a nationally recognised law firm with offices in London, Bournemouth and Southampton. The family team are leaders in their field. Jane, Jo and Kimberley are specialist family solicitors with a wealth of experience in all areas of family law from divorce to children, pre-nuptial agreements to the settlement of financial disputes and everything in between. These women are feisty when they need to be. But their approach is designed to reduce conflict in order to ensure the best possible outcome. They recognise that family issues can be extremely emotional and they offer accessibility to specialist advice delivered in a friendly, approachable and understandable way designed to guide you from start to finish. If you would like an informal, no-obligation chat with Jane, Jo or Kimberley please telephone 0844 856 6865.