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Hi,
I'm enquiring into the legal position of my same-sex partner with regards to her parenting rights. We are in the process of starting IVF and I understand that we can apply for parental responsibility for my partner as soon as the child is born and that she will need to adopt the child, once he/she is 6 months old. My query is specifically around civil partnerships. We are not currently civil partnered although we do plan to become civil partners soon. Would her position as legal parent be more secure if we were to become civil partners either before conception, during pregnancy or after the birth or does it not make any difference.

Many thanks
Pixel
 

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Hi Pixel

It doesn't make a massive difference whether you are civil partners or not, so my advice would be only to do it if it's something you want to do anyway.  The diferences are:

- You can get parental responsibility after the birth by signing a simple one page court form.  If you are not civil partners, the only way to get parental responsibility is to apply to court for a residence order (which means appearing before a judge and asking for it).  If you plan to apply for adoption anyway, it's probably easier just to make sure you apply for adoption as soon as you can and leave things in the meantime.

- You are entitled to apply for adoption whether or not you are civil partners.  However, if you are not civil partners you have to show you are in an 'enduring family relationship'.  That isn't usually immensely onerous - most local authorities say you have to have been living together for 2 years.

Hope that clarifies.

Natalie
 
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