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Family building

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I have been practicing in the area of GLBT family rights and protection since the early 1990’s. My practice has included adoptions and assisted reproductive technology (ART) law, both of which areas have changed radically over the past 26 years.

ADOPTIONS

Currently, the following options are available to gay and lesbian couples who have children together.

  1. If a couple is legally married, or in a civil union, and their child is born during the marriage or CU, no adoption is required. The child’s birth certificate will be issued listing both as parents. The couple can also jointly adopt a child.
  2. If a couple legally married or entered into a CU after the birth of the child, a step-parent adoption is required to add the second parent. The woman giving birth is already designated as the mother on the child’s birth certificate. Similarly, if one partner adopted prior to marriage or CU, the other partner (as spouse) needs to file a step-parent adoption, to be added as the second parent.
  3. If the couple is not married or in a CU, a second parent adoption is required, to add the second parent.
ART
  1. Donor agreements. It is critical that egg and sperm donor agreements be properly drafted, in order to ensure that the Intended Parents, and not the donor, are the legal parents of the child conceived using the donated genetic material. In addition, all parties should have independent legal counsel before signing the agreement.
  2. Gestational Carrier Agreements (GAC). Similarly, a GCA must be properly negotiated and drafted, with each party having independent legal counsel.
  3. Prior to the birth of an ART child, I file a petition with the District Court, in order to obtain a court order affirming that the Intended Parent(s), and not the gestational carrier is/are the child’s legal parent(s). This court order directs that the State of Colorado issue the child’s birth certificate according to its rulings. The Intended Parents do not need to be married (or in a CU) to be affirmed, and a single IP can be affirmed as a child’s sole parent.
TRANSGENDER ISSUES

After a person has completed the legal process for being recognized legally as his or her post-trans gender, all of the above standards and rules apply.

I have represented men who transitioned from women in being recognized as the legal fathers of the children born to their female CU or marriage partner after completion of the transition. Donor sperm were used to inseminate.

In 2000, I received the Attorney of the Year award from the Colorado Legal Initiatives Project. In 2013, I received the Attorney of the Year award from the Colorado GLBT Bar Association.

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