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Transgender Parental Rights and Family Law in Oregon

Published May 19, 2021
Sadly, transgender parents may face challenges to their child custody and visitation rights. It’s important to consult printed resources to inform yourself of your rights and to work with a skilled family law attorney who understands the unique challenges LGBTQIA+ parents face.

When it comes to family law matters, members of the transgender community may experience tough challenges. Parental rights can be especially tenuous, as their gender transition may be used to deny or restrict child custody or visitation rights. Additionally, transgender individuals who come out or transition and go on to form new families could have the validity of their marriages and parental rights called into question. Fortunately, there are several resources available to transgender parents to help them protect their parent-child relationships. Here is some basic information about transgender parental rights, along with some suggestions about what steps to take in the event that a legal dispute arises.

Legal Guidance for the Transgender Community

There continues to be a need for comprehensive legal guides for the transgender community. While there are some books and articles that include information about family law matters and parental rights as they pertain to transgender individuals, Leslie Cooper’s milestone booklet from 2013, Protecting the Rights of Transgender Parents and their Children: A Guide for Parents and Lawyers, provides the most thorough overview of case law, recommendations for transgender parents, and suggestions for advocacy when legal disputes arise. More recently, the Transgender Law Center put out an informative fact sheet that answers basic legal questions related to marriage parenting, foster care, domestic partnerships, and other family law matters.

Navigating Legal Challenges to Parental Status

Unfortunately, transgender parents can still face significant legal challenges when it comes to parenting rights. Both guides offer recommendations for how to navigate these potential obstacles, such as pursuing adoption or obtaining a judgment of parentage when possible. If a couple is using assisted reproduction to have a child, both parents should sign a consent form that documents their intent to be a parent. As much as possible, document your agreement about the parental role you intend to have. If a legal dispute becomes inevitable, be sure you can locate a family law attorney who is actively committed to serving members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

You Are Never Alone in Your Fight for Justice

It’s important to learn about your options when your legal status as a transgender parent is under threat. Consult resources to read about your rights, and contact a skilled and compassionate family law attorney who understands the unique challenges you are facing. If you are subjected to the bias or ignorance of others who refuse to recognize the legality of your identity, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. By working with a trusted attorney, you won’t have to go through this process alone. Reach out today to secure the support you need.


For more information on how to cope with legal challenges to your status as a transgender parent in the Portland area, contact the dedicated and compassionate legal team at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today by calling (503) 233-8868.

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