To a large extent, Texas law still upholds the traditional gender roles of men and women. The best interests of the child are always the most important consideration in determining custody in a same-sex divorce, however other criteria are taken into account. Co-parenting after a divorce between same-sex parents is possible with the help of an experienced divorce in Houston.
Confirming the Legal Status of Same-Sex Parents
One of the first stages in deciding custody in same-sex divorce is understanding each parent’s legal status.
Apart from being biological parents, same-sex couples in Texas can establish parental rights through adoption. Adoption by a couple when both partners are of the same sex is permitted by law.
Moreover, if a parent of the same sex has a child during the marriage, the other parent can seek to adopt the kid through a second-parent adoption. Texas law allows for adoption by a child’s biological or adoptive parent’s spouse or domestic partner.
All of the parental obligations and rights accrue to the adoptive parents legally. Consequently, whether a married couple or a person adopts a kid, both parents retain parental rights even if the marriage ends.
Insemination Methods in Animals and Humans
Donors who are part of assisted reproduction procedures in Texas (such as artificial insemination) do not have legal parental rights. Only the birth parent may legally claim to be the child’s parent, but what about the birth parent’s spouse? Children born into heterosexual marriages are legally considered to be the husband’s biological offspring. Despite the law’s heteronormative phrasing, many people assume this applies to same-sex parents. However, if you want to be absolutely sure that your parental rights are recognized, you might want to consider getting a second-parent adoption.
The Surrogacy Agreement
Surrogacy agreements are also made between people of the same gender. A legitimate gestational agreement requires the surrogate mother, intended parents, and the donor to forgo the rights of the biological parent and give the married couple parental rights. A genuine gestational agreement must meet various legal requirements, including the surrogate’s spouse’s consent if she is married. The legality of a gestational agreement is a sensitive topic that should be discussed with a competent family lawyer.
Protective Services: How Texas Handles Custody Cases
Divorce can be a difficult time for everyone involved, especially when it involves same-sex couples negotiating child custody. Child custody in Texas is known as “conservatorship.” The legal concept of conservatorship is broken down into two parts: decision-making authority and physical custody. The welfare of the minor must be the top priority in any debate on conservatorship.