Every family deals with challenges. But those families with either a parent or child who identifies as LGBTQ face particularly unique ones. Here are some of the most common challenges faced by LGBTQ families.
When a married couple has a child, they automatically both become legal guardians of that child, right? This assumption is true for heterosexual couples in all 50 states, but same-sex couples do not have the same legal rights.
These inconsistent laws mean in some states married same-sex partners may not both be listed in the child’s birth certificate in cases of sperm donors or artificial insemination. Laws are outdated in many states. Connecticut has recently passed the Parentage Act, which gives same-sex parents the same automatic parentage rights as heterosexual parents, regardless if one of the parents is not biologically related. But many states need to catch up.
Paid Parental Leave
The United States is one of the few countries in the modern world that does not offer paid parental leave. When certain companies do offer guaranteed paid family leave, it is not always offered to LGBTQ individuals and their partners.
In addition, the Family Medical Leave Act, which requires companies to provide unpaid family leave, does not apply to parents who are not recognized as legal guardians. And as we just saw, there are plenty of states that do not recognize same-sex couples as legal guardians, and so this is another instance where same-sex couples are left out.
Schools and Education
Bullying is a real challenge for those kids who either identify as LGBTQ themselves or who have one or both parents that do. Only 21 states have included LGBTQ students in anti-bullying laws, but there are still more than half that have not.
This is not an exhaustive list of unique challenges LGBTQ families face, of course. While the saying, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” is true, sometimes, in order to survive and thrive amidst profound challenges, you need someone in your corner who can help you navigate troubled waters.
If you and your family are struggling with any issues, I am here to help. Please reach out to me.