The legal recognition of same-sex partners in family law is a fairly recent development. While the rights of same-sex couples gained protections in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that no state can issue a law that infringes on a same-sex couple’s right to marry. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling hasn’t completely eliminated the civil rights issues that affect same-sex couples. In particular, same-sex Women continue to face many obstacles when it comes to their family law rights. This blog takes a look at some of the issues that affect same-sex women.


Same-sex couples face discrimination despite the legal recognition of their right to marry. Historically, homosexuality was virtually a crime in many states. However, punitive legal measures eroded over time. Even though overt legal discrimination against same-sex couples has gone down, there is still systemic bias in family law that make it difficult for same-sex couples to exercise their rights as other couples can. The bias might be the result of the family law apparatus being constructed under the assumption that families revolve from the conventional heterosexual couple and family.

Legal discrimination hasn’t been completely eradicated either. In fact, there are political movements that are intent on curtailing the rights of same-sex couples. For example, ten jurisdictions have enacted legal measures to allow adoption and child placement agencies to refuse services to same-sex couples if they would otherwise conflict with their religious values and beliefs.

Unfortunately, stories about social workers for various Child Protective Services agencies have used their positions of authority to harass and oppress same-sex women by claiming that their sexual-orientation renders them unfit for child custody because it risks confusing the child about gender. Same-sex women can lose custody over their child.


Parental rights flow from the status of an individual as the parent of a child. In many states, parentage is established through a hierarchy of relationships starting from the natural, blood-relationships between parent and child. Most laws regarding parentage were established using heterosexual parents as the norm. Terms like “father” and “mother” don’t easily translate to same-sex couples. The natural mother’s rights can easily be established, but legal recognition for her same-sex partner’s rights are not as solid.

Given the legal preference for biological parents serving as the basis for parental rights, same-sex couples who adopt or use assisted reproductive technology face the looming threat that their child’s biological parents will try and reassert their rights in the future.

The LGBTQIA community has fought hard to create a society where they are not vilified for who they are. Although their efforts have been fruitful in recent years, their battle for equal rights under the law continues.

Consult an Experienced Attorney from Moshtael Family Law

At Moshtael Family Law, we can help same-sex couples assert their constitutional rights to make sure their rights are respected by courts and other parties. We take pride in delivering quality legal advocacy to those who have made a major effort to exercise their legal rights all in the name of starting a loving family. You can benefit from quality legal representation from our team of attorneys.

Call Moshtael Family Law at (714) 909-2561 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with one of our esteemed lawyers exploring your legal rights today.

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