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How Child Custody Arrangements and Support Works For Same-Sex Parents

Lesbian couple posing in front of the wall with their adorable little daughter

To put it simply, when it comes to child access, custody or support, according to the laws in Ontario, it does not matter what the sexual orientation is of the parents.

The only difference that may have an effect on you, is if you are not the biological or adoptive parent of a child that you and your partner have been raising together.

Read below to find out more. 

Natural vs. Adoptive Parents

The legislation relevant to child custody, access, and support differentiates between natural/adoptive parents, and those who have been standing in the place of a parent, or acting as a parent, without any formal legal tie.

??A same-sex partner who has acted as a parent can also be required to pay child support, even if a biological parent is also paying support.

Solely Adoptive Parents

If you and your same-sex partner are the adoptive parents of a child together, you are both considered to be the parents of that child. 

Therefore you will have the same rights with respect to child access, custody and support as would any other parent.

Laws do change when it comes to persons who stand in the place of a parent where the rights to decision making and access can be different, or not applicable.

How Ontario Determines Child Custody or Parenting

Under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, adoption by same-sex spouses is permitted, regardless of whether the couple is legally married, or living in a common-law relationship.

While the biological parent will often be given custody, the other parent may be required to pay child support, have visitation rights and may also apply for custody or adoption of the child. 

Whether a custody or adoption application is successful will depend on what the court decides is in the “best interests” of the child.


Want to discuss child custody or parenting agreement in more detail? 

You might want to seek or consider legal representation and advice, before making any big decisions.

Feel free to call our office today to book a free 30-minute consultation.

This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert today.