The rocky landscape of LGBTQ family law in the U.S.

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2022 | Firm News |

The amount of research done into LGBTQ families has been growing all the time, and it’s only through the work of scholars and researchers that some of the harmful myths surrounding these communities have finally been dispelled. These types of families are nothing new, even though these more updated policies and laws in Illinois and around the country are only now starting to emerge in the last few decades.

LGBTQ relationships have a long history of being subjected to criminalization. Now that these demographics are more visible in the public eye, they have strong social networks to support one another and create significant change in the regulatory landscape.

Still, these groups have to struggle with vastly different rules from state to state, which may lead to complications around foster care, adoption, and parental rights. For couples living in urban areas that are more liberal, they may find it much easier to adopt a child than an LGBTQ couple in a conservative, rural environment.

State and local rule creates a varied landscape

The authority mostly rests with the state and local law, creating highly varied situations that LGBTQ families are dealing with. There are some exceptions to this, but that is the general lay of the land. However, thanks to a number of significant changes that have occurred federally, there are some ways that the LGBTQ community is protected that all state and local governments have to follow on a national level.

Many proponents of LGBTQ rights point to the famous Obergefell v. Hodges case, which did make significant strides in standardizing the way that same-sex couples are protected when they are in traditional relationships. But with the solutions brought by this case also come new issues with LGBTQ relationships both on the heteronormative and non-heteronormative sides. Where this case is seen to have failed is in the recognition of the fundamental right that LGBTQ people have to be a parent when they’ve created a non-biological family and are living a non-traditional life.