In 2015, the US Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell afforded same-sex couples the right to marry and enjoy all the benefits that come with marriage, namely parentage establishment.
Some states have taken the landmark decision a step further by creating laws that allow unmarried same-sex couples to establish parentage, granting new fathers and mothers all the same rights and responsibilities as different-sex parents:
Key Benefits of Establishing Parentage
- Builds a stronger emotional tie between parent and child.
- Allows access and management of medical records.
- Enables the child to receive benefits like life insurance, inheritances, social security, etc.
- Gives the right to request custody and visitation (parenting time) orders from the court so that he or she can legally visit with his or her child.
- Provides the parent(s) the right to receive child support if the relationship does not last.
The map below shows the different ways same-sex couples can establish parentage according to where they live. The purple states have laws on the books that allow UNMARRIED same-sex couples to establish parentage and the blue states are the states with laws for MARRIED same-sex couples only.
If your state does not have online resources dedicated to same-sex parents, contact your local child support agency for information on how to establish yourself as a parent. Simply click on state to be directed to the appropriate resources in your state.