Nancy Polikoff

Important Parenting Legislation in Great Britain

Filed By Nancy Polikoff | October 27, 2008 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: artificial insemination, England, Great Britain, lesbian mothers, lesbians, non-biological parents, parenting legislation

When a bill passed by Great Britain's House of Commons on October 22 becomes law, lesbians will have easier access to assisted reproduction. Current UK law requires fertility clinics to consider a child's "need for a father" before accepting a patient for treatment. The new law requires clinics to consider a child's need for "supportive parenting." Equally important, a lesbian couple who has a child will be able to put both parents' names on the birth certificate, so the non-biological mom will not have to adopt her own child. That's what we are trying to do in the District of Columbia, and what couples who marry or enter civil unions/domestic partnerships in Massachusetts, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Oregon can already do.

Kudos to the British LGB group, Stonewall.

(Crossposted at Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage.)

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Fingers very, very crossed!!! It still has to go through the House of Lords and there has been some fairly prominent opposition to this even from the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties which are supposedly LGBT friendly, so I'm still a little worried.

Interesting. It seems that European gay rights groups are so much more focused on parenting while here in the US we're focused on marriage. I wonder why that is.


The marriage battle is just as strong over here but with civil partnerships being pretty widely available (with some notable exceptions), the parenting issues are getting more attention whilst the marriage issues are ongoing more in the background.

I wrote an article some years back about how Europe was way ahead on recognizing partners but the US -- in many states -- was way ahead in recognizing parents. Some of the Scandanavian countries, for example, had registered partnership but did not allow lesbians access to assisted reproduction. So UK is going the way of the rest of first then parents. Basically, we got second parent adoption, etc from state court judges doing what was best for children in a common law system. In continental Europe, with the civil law, judges did not have the same leeway, and the legislatures were more supportive of partners and more hesitant to approve parenting.

Laura Harvey | October 29, 2008 8:38 PM

Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? My husband came across an article ( with some info about background checking neighbors. I thought that may be a little overboard, but it had some other good suggestions for some precautions I haven't thought about. Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church's fall festival this year instead of door-to-door to prevent that from happening again. I don't know yet. What's your advice? Am I over-reacting or just being a concerned mom?