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Documents for Children:



Giving birth or legally adopting a child is not always practical or even possible -- especially when you are gay or lesbian.  The Documents for Children (in a package or individually) create rights and responsibilities for parents who otherwise have none.







What are Documents for Children?


We would be happy to schedule a free, mini Estate Planning workshop -- on the phone -- to answer your questions and explain all of this in plain English!

A Parenting Agreement -- Nomination of Guardian -- Authorization to Consent to Medical Treatment and, if applicable, a Sperm Donor Agreement.  These documents may be ordered as part of a Deluxe Package, a Documents for Children Package or as Individual Documents. The Parenting Agreement is a 'Group B' Individual Document and the remaining three are 'Group A' Individual Documents.

To schedule a phone workshop, call 800-891-8189 or send us an email

A parenting agreement is essential for couples with one parent who has no legal relationship -- through adoption or birth -- to a child. Even in states where courts do not recognize rights of same-sex couples, these agreements can show intent.  Without anything in writing at all, there will be nothing whatsoever to point to as proof of parental rights. 

A Parenting Agreement is a contract that is entered into by both parents which sets forth rights to custody, visitation, child support, medical, educational and religious decisions, and virtually anything other terms that are important to both parents.  The Agreement may be signed when both partners are already co-parenting children or in advance of a birth or adoption.  The Agreement establishes rights between the parents that may or may not be recognized in a court of law.  The purpose of the Agreement is to show -- in the event of a breakup, incapacity or death of a co-parent, the parties intended to co-parent the children regardless of the status of the relationship they have to one another. 

There is no one template for a Parenting Agreement.  Depending on your situation, the terms will be unique.  For example, do one or both of you already have children from a previous relationship? Are you planning to have or adopt a child together?  Is yours a combination of both of these scenarios -- or none of the above?



You may also state your wishes as to the guardian of your child in your Last  Will and Testament -- but if you are not deceased and only incapacitated, that nomination may not be honored.  Remember, your Will takes effect only after your death. 

A Nomination of Guardian is exactly what it says it is -- it is a document whereby you name a person or persons who you want to raise your child in the event that you die while your child is still a minor.  If your partner does not have legal parental rights, you may want to name your partner as guardian.  If your partner is a legal parent to your child, you may want to name someone to raise your child in case something happens to both of you. If your child has another legal parent who is not your partner, you still may want to sign this nomination in case that parent (usually an ex spouse or partner) opts out of his or her parental role or is also unable to raise your child for some other reason (death or disability).  

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An Authorization to Consent to Medical Treatment of a Minor Child, is another document whose purpose is defined by its title.  The Authorization included in our packages (or as an individual document) includes the right to travel inside and outside of the state where you reside, the right to consult with and make educational (dealing with school personnel) decisions and decisions about child care.   

This is similar to a Medical Power of Attorney but is granted by a legally recognized parent to another trusted adult.



As with the Parenting Agreement, the terms of your Donor Agreement will depend upon  your particular circumstances.

Known variously as a Sperm Donor Agreement or Donor Insemination Agreement or Contract, this documents sets forth the terms between a sperm donor and one or more partners who wish to use the donor's sperm to become pregnant.  This contract may require that the donor has no parental rights, has limited parental rights or has full parental rights.  It may state whether or not the donor will or will not be required to pay child support -- whether or not his name will appear on the birth certificate or if he will remain anonymous or known to any child who is born as a result of his donation.  Some states (namely Pennsylvania) have not allowed a sperm donor to waive his parental responsibility of child support on the basis of the 'best interest of the child' theory.  Therefore, these agreements will vary depending on the law of the state where all parties reside. 









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Legal documents include gay wills, gay trusts and other gay legal documents.  The documents help to protect gay and lesbian rights, gay legal rights even though better protections would result from gay marriage. These documents are designed exclusively for gay men, lesbians, transgendered and transsexual persons, people who identify as queer, homosexual or have an alternative family and/or lifestyle. These documents are not the same as civil unions, domestic partner agreements, marriage equality, etc., but are the best our community can do to protect our loved ones.  Advance directives include living wills, durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney and estate planning documents include living trusts and last will and testaments.