Legal Concerns for LGBT Couples

Learn about legal concerns for LGBT couples

New York is one of the most LGBT-friendly states in America, making it an ideal medical home for same-sex male and female couples seeking to grow their families. If you’re looking for a fertility expert for LGBT couples who can guide you through the complex medical matters involved in same-sex reproduction, you’ve come to the right place.

Legal concerns for LGBT couples

Having built our practice with a caring, inclusive approach to family-building, we believe that no parent should have to take additional measures to protect their rights to parent their own child. However, even in the socially progressive state of New York, additional legal protections may be necessary to ensure that both parents in a same-sex couple have equal rights under the law.

Protecting both parents’ rights is among the foremost legal concerns for LGBT couples. Because same-sex couples seeking fertility treatment will have, at most, just one parent who is biologically related to their child, additional legal protection is recommended to ensure that both people are legally recognized as the baby’s parents.

  • Donor eggs and sperm. For lesbian couples, the partner who gives birth to the child is considered, by law, to be the mother – even if her partner’s or a donor’s eggs are used to achieve pregnancy. For LGBT couples who use donor eggs or sperm, the donation contract typically specifies that the gamete donor has no claim or rights related to any resulting children. No such contract stipulations apply for reciprocal IVF, in which one lesbian partner contributes eggs and the other carries the baby.
  • Surrogacy. For LGBT couples who need to use a surrogate, or gestational carrier, New York law is prohibitive. Voluntary surrogacy agreements are not permitted by state law, which is why your fertility expert for LGBT couples will work closely with you to help you find a surrogate who lives in a state where such arrangements are legal. By creating a surrogacy contract under the laws of your surrogate’s home state, your surrogacy arrangement is not subject to New York state law.
  • Donated embryos. New York prohibits the donation of embryos into New York from fertility programs in other states.
  • Co-parent adoption. Even though gay marriage is currently legal, not only in the state of New York but nationwide, any LGBT parent who does not give birth to the baby should legally adopt the child to protect their parental rights. Both parents’ names appearing on the birth certificate does not necessarily guarantee legal protection, but an adoption or parentage judgement made by a court will. New York is one of several states that allow co-parent adoptions for same-sex partners, whether they are married or not married.

Our LGBT fertility experts can help

Because our inclusive New York fertility center specializes in LGBT fertility, our team can help you find legal experts who have a solid understanding of state law and how it applies to complex LGBT infertility treatments. They can help you understand the laws related to the fertility treatment you need, and can connect you with ethical third-party agencies for donor eggs, donor sperm and gestational carriers. We urge you to consult with a New York reproductive law attorney to ensure that all aspects of legal concerns for LGBT couples are addressed.

We look forward to assisting you and your partner on your path to parenthood. To schedule an appointment with a fertility expert for LGBT couples, contact us to get started.