Thursday, 13 June 2013

So Will #EqualMarriage Affect How Female Same-Sex Couples Register Children?

I've no answer to this question, it is simply a question for those more in the know. Tiffer Robinson has pointed out on Twitter an area of possible concern that doesn't seem to be quite covered in the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.

At the moment female same-sex couples have two different ways they can register their children?
Female civil partners  
Either woman can register the birth on her own if all of the following are true:
  • the mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment 
  • she was in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment 
  • her civil partner is the child’s legal parent 

Female non-civil partners 
When a mother isn’t in a civil partnership, her partner can be seen as the child’s second parent if both women: are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic have made a ‘parenthood agreement’ 
However, for both parents’ details to be recorded on the birth certificate, they must do one of the following:
  • register the birth jointly 
  • complete a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’ form and one parent takes the signed form when she registers the birth 
  • get a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the second female parent parental responsibility and one parent shows the document when she registers the birth
The bill only mentions:

Common law presumption  
(1)Section 11 does not extend the common law presumption that a child born 5to a woman during her marriage is also the child of her husband.  
(2)Accordingly, where a child is born to a woman during her marriage to another woman, that presumption is of no relevance to the question of who the child’s parents are.
Which doesn't really answer whether married female same-sex couples will be treated the way civil partners are now. Any ideas oh knowledgeable ones? 

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