Co-parenting provides flexibility to create a family, particularly if you are a: solo woman, solo man, lesbian woman, gay man or a same-sex couple.  Co-parents can work together to conceive and parent a child without an intimate personal relationship with the other co-parent's consent.   

Co-parenting is different from known donation because each co-parent takes an active parental role. A co-parenting arrangement typically involves 2-4 adults in a child's life, to include:

  • a solo woman and a solo man
  • a lesbian couple and a gay couple
  • a solo woman and a gay couple

You must understand the legal status each person in the co-parenting arrangement will have, or acquire, because a child only has two legal parents under English law.  Legal issues are complex and require careful management. The outcome will be determined by a variety of factors including: relationship status of the parties, whether you conceive by private arrangement, or at a fertility clinic.

The consistent message of the English Family Court is co-parents should put in place a co-parenting agreement before they conceive a child, to clarify the legal and practical issues in relation to their child.  This Agreement manages the expectations and maps out arrangements for the care and upbringing of the child to reduce emotional, financial, practical and legal difficulties which may develop in the future. We provide expert legal advice and support in the event unexpected issues arise.

How we can help

We provide bespoke and experienced legal advice on:

  • fertility law in the UK
  • acquisition of legal parenthood for a child
  • acquisition and exercise of parental responsibility for a child
  • care and upbringing of a child
  • content and preparation of a co-parenting agreement
  • legal risk analysis in your situation
  • financial provision for a child
  • resolution of a dispute about arrangements for a child
  • managing relationship breakdown
  • preparation of specialist 'Family Proof' Wills

To learn more our legal services click here.

Gain an understanding of wider issues in the development of and current topics surrounding fertility, co-parenting and family law in the UK and internationally. Click here to visit our media and publications section. 

You can find more about assisted conception, co-parenting and family law in the UK in our resource hub

Arrange an introductory meeting with Louisa Ghevaert, Partner and Head of the Fertility and Parenting Team at Michelmores: email or telephone +44(0)207 7886382.

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