Catherine Tucker believes that all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to have legal security in their family relationships.  Catherine offers comprehensive legal services for lesbian and gay couples who are seeking to build their families, and can also work with you to establish firm legal ties for your children who have already been born.

Information for All Same-Sex Couples

Stepparent Adoptions

Stepparent adoptions are available in New Hampshire to married couples. If you are not a married couple, Catherine can advise you regarding second parent adoptions, which are available in some areas to unmarried couples.
>Learn more about same-sex adoptions

Paternity/Maternity Assessments

For same-sex parents who wish to understand their legal rights and responsibilities regarding a child who has already been conceived, Catherine offers Paternity and Maternity Assessments to help you understand the legal framework governing your parental rights or the termination of such rights. This assessment will allow you to determine whether to seek court action to confirm your parental ties to your child.

Co-Parenting Agreements

Where a stepparent or second parent adoption is not available, same-sex couples parenting together may wish to have a written co-parenting agreement. Catherine can prepare such an agreement for you to set out in clear language your joint intentions to parent a child together.

Co-Guardianship

Co-guardianship permits a partner who lacks a legal tie to the child to act with the legal authority of a parent. For example, a co-guardian can enroll a child in school, make medical decisions on the child’s behalf, and handle many of the day-to-day duties of parenthood. Co-guardianship does not establish a permanent legal tie to the child and thus does not offer the same level of security as a stepparent or second parent adoption.

Nomination of Guardian

If your partner lacks a firm legal tie to your child, Catherine can prepare a simple will for you that nominates your partner as the legal guardian upon your death. While such nominations are not binding, they are an important factor that courts consider when making decisions for your child after death.

Information for Female Couples

Reciprocal IVF

Reciprocal IVF is a procedure where the eggs of one partner are combined with donor sperm and the resulting embryos are transferred into the uterus of the other partner. Thus, Reciprocal IVF allows both partners to have a biological connection to the resulting child.  Unfortunately, the laws in New Hampshire haven’t caught up with the innovations in medical treatments, and under New Hampshire law, only the mother who gestates the pregnancy will be considered the legal mother, unless the couple takes court action to establish joint maternal rights in both female partners.  Such an establishment of joint maternal rights is legally distinct from both the presumption of maternity that permits the egg-providing partner’s name to go on the birth certificate and stepparent adoptions. Most importantly, the establishment of joint maternal rights protects in the strongest way possible your future child’s ability to have legal ties to both mothers. Please call the office to see how Catherine can help you with the legal action needed to protect your family.

Sperm Donation

The Law Office of Catherine Tucker provides comprehensive legal services pertaining to sperm donation, to ease your mind as you go through the process of donor selection and insemination.

>Learn more about sperm donation

Information for Male Couples

Surrogates/Gestational Carriers

The firm can help you with all your legal needs if you are pursuing a surrogacy arrangement to build your family.

>Learn more about surrogacy