LGBT+ Community: Key Developments In Family Law In 2023
Historically, members of the LGBT+ community have been treated differently under family legislation in this country and have faced additional challenges as a result. Thankfully, there have been significant developments over recent years which have produced greater equality in terms of how family law applies to individuals and families, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
As we celebrate Pride Month, we have reflected on some of the key developments in family law in recent times:
- Adoption and Children Act 2002 – gave unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, the right to adopt.
- Civil Partnership Act 2004 – introduced civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Learn more about Civil Partnership Act 2004.
- Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 – recognised female same-sex couples as the legal parents of children conceived through the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos. The Act also made changes to surrogacy law, allowing male same-sex couples to apply for parental orders.
- Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 – introduced marriage for same-sex couples.
- Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2022 – introduced no-fault divorce. It is worth noting that under the previous divorce law, same-sex couples could not rely on the fact of adultery in support of a divorce petition.
- Law Commission consultation on surrogacy law – this is in its final stages and the Law Commission are currently preparing a draft Bill. The final report and draft Bill are expected in Spring 2023.
The above legislation has gone a long way towards offering the LGBT+ community the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. However, we also acknowledge that there is still much more progress to be made, including the need to introduce new legal reforms for cohabitees, to ensure that unmarried couples have similar rights to married couples on relationship breakdown and for inheritance purposes.
At Anthony Gold we are experienced in assisting with all areas of family breakdown, including issues that typically arise for the LGBTQ+ community and surrogacy arrangements. We regularly advise same sex couples, both at the start of the relationship (cohabitation agreements or pre-nuptial agreements) and on relationship breakdown. We offer a wide range of services, including mediation where suitable. If you require assistance or wish to discuss any of the issues raised further, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our department who would be happy to help.
For more information and resources relating to LGBT+ History Month 2023 and this year’s theme – Behind the Lens – please visit LGBT+ History Month.* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*