Doncaster Office
Sheffield Office

Parental Rights for Same Sex Couples

14 June 2022

Sharon McKie

Pride Flag

Parental rights are different for same sex couples than they are for heterosexual couples. The mother who carries the child automatically has parent responsibility once the child is born. Unmarried fathers and same sex couples who aren’t in civil partnerships don’t automatically have parental rights. This can be changed after surrogacy or adoption.

Civil partners both have parental responsibility if they were in a civil partnership at the time of fertility treatment or donor insemination.

Non civil partners can apply for parental responsibility if a parental agreement was made. They can also obtain parental responsibility if they enter into a civil partnership or jointly register the birth.

Two male parents can both have parental responsibility if:

  • One is the biological father and is named on the birth certificate
  • They apply for a parental order through the Court
  • They are civil partners or are married
  • They used one of their gametes to create the embryo
  • They apply within 6 months from when the child was born
  • The child’s home is with the Applicant
  • The woman agrees to the making of the parental order

Two female parents can both have parental responsibility if:

  • They are married or in a civil partnership
  • They are unmarried and not in a civil partnership but have signed a Form WP and Form PP; this means the second parent can acquire parental responsibility

If you have any issues regarding this or any other matter, please get in contact with our Family team on 01302 341 414 or fill out our online enquiry form.


We have more articles on our website relating to parental responsibility and starting a family, here are 3 that you may find informative: