As Gay Parents, What Legal Issues Do You Need To Consider?

by Angela Watson

Please note that the recommendations made here are not to be construed as legal advice. And we strongly recommend you seek the advice of a competent attorney when dealing with ALL legal matters.

You wouldn’t be reading this if you hadn’t at least given some cursory thought to the many important issues that need to be addressed and taken care of BEFORE your child is born (before conception would be even better). So having acknowledged that getting pregnant is only a part of the struggle, you might wish to familiarize yourself with some of the following suggestions and download some of the sample documents.

Happy Moms

Editor’s Note: All these documents should be signed in the presence of witnesses and also notarized in order for the legality to be ascertained and upheld if they need to be submitted as evidence in a court case.

Co-Parenting Agreements

A co-parenting agreement should be signed to protect the rights of both parents and to ensure that the child will be raised per your requests should something happen to one of you. Please note that these are not enforceable in all states, so be sure you know what your state permits and have appropriate expectations about the viability of these contracts.

click here to download a sample co-parenting agreement. (pdf)

Donor Agreements

If you are using a known donor and you wish for him to waive his parental rights, you need to have him sign a donor agreement. This will relieve the possibility of any headaches in the future, should the donor develop a deep relationship with the child and later change his mind about the level of involvement he wishes to have in the child’s upbringing.

click here to download a sample donor contract for second parent adoption agreement. (pdf)

(for states allowing second-parent adoption)

click here to download a sample donor contract for second parent adoption agreement. (pdf)

(for states where second-parent adoption is NOT available)

Domestic Partner Agreement

It is always a good idea to have a domestic partner agreement in any committed relationship. This ensures that you and your partner are protected in the event of death or separation. These documents typically determine property ownership, expected duties and chores, and disbursement of income.

click here to download a sample domestic partner agreement. (pdf)

Last Will and Testament

Now that you will have children dependent upon you for their every need, it is of the UTMOST importance that you have at the very least a will, and a living will is not a bad idea either.

If you die without a will, your partner will face an unbelievably intricate web of legal battles and may very well get nothing in return. To make sure that your property and personal belongings go to the people YOU want, instead, of the court’s wishes, take this very important legal precaution!

click here to download a sample will. (pdf)

Living Will

A living will is a medical directive that communicates to your loved ones and your caregivers exactly what your wishes are concerning life-sustaining measures.

Because we can’t have a different Living Will form for each of the states, you can learn more about state-specific living wills by consulting a lawyer in your area. Many times, your Health Insurance company will have these forms available for your use. Be sure to get them notarized so that they are legally binding.

Information published on The Rainbow Babies website is not a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Disclaimer: The Rainbow Babies provides sample contracts and legal/social health articles for informational purposes only—please do not consider it as legally-binding advice of any kind.