FAQs on parenthood - Couples who are not married or in a civil partnership

These FAQs are written as though the reader is the woman who is to receive treatment and carry the child.


I am in a heterosexual relationship and we are not married. We will use my partner’s sperm in our treatment at a licensed clinic on or after 6th April. How will the new parenthood law affect us?

Your partner will automatically be the legal father of any child born as a result of your treatment using his sperm, or embryos created using his sperm. 

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I am in a heterosexual relationship and we are not married. We are planning to use donor sperm or donor embryos in our treatment on or after 6th April. How will the new parenthood law affect us?

Both you and your partner will need to consent to him being the father of the child in order for him to be legally recognised as such.  The new consent forms that will be used by clinics from 6th April, will allow you to make sure both you and your partner provide the appropriate consents. 

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I am in a lesbian relationship and we are not in a civil partnership. We are planning to use donor sperm in our treatment at a licensed clinic on or after 6th April. How will the new parenthood law affect us?

Both you and your partner will need to consent to the woman who will not give birth being the child’s second parent, in order for her to be legally recognised as such.  The new consent forms that will be used by clinics from 6th April, will allow you to make sure that both you and your partner provide the appropriate consents.

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I am in a lesbian relationship and we are planning to use my partner’s eggs, but I would carry the child. How does the new parenthood law apply to us? If you give birth to a child, you will be that child’s mother, whether the eggs used are your own or your partner’s.

In order to provide eggs for your treatment your partner will need to register as a donor and complete a donor consent form.

If you are in a civil partnership, your partner will automatically be the child’s legal second parent, unless she has explicitly stated that she did not consent to your treatment.  there is a section on the consent form that asks this questions.

If you are not in a civil partnership, your partner would have to consent to being the second parent.

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I am in a male same-sex relationship (either in a civil partnership or not). How will the new parenthood law affect us?

The change in parenthood law only applies when one person in that relationship is the mother. However, from April 2010, it will be possible for male couples to apply to the courts for a Parental Order which, if granted, will allow the birth to be registered showing both men as the parents in the Parental Order Register.

Read our parenthood FAQs for male same-sex couples planning surrogacy arrangements

Read more about changes to parental orders

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More parenthood FAQs

FAQS about what the new law means for:

 

Page last updated: 14 April 2009

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