In Washington State, it is against the law for the court to make child custody or child visitation decisions based on the sexual orientation of the parent or guardian. Washington also has recent same-sex marriage laws that give gay and lesbian couples equal rights when it comes to unions and divorces. Finally, Washington State has adoption laws that allow LGBT couples jointly adopt children.
However, although Washington is one of the most progressive states in the country for LGBT rights and same-sex equality, it does not mean that your LGBT child custody case will go smoothly and end with a just decision.
Discrimination & Bias
Although our laws are meant to protect gay and lesbians from discrimination and bias, we cannot escape the fact that most people are heterosexual and that a large minority of the population does not support the gay or lesbian lifestyle. It is possible that a judge, a social worker—even members of your own family—can harm your court case because of their prejudices and misconceptions. For example, a judge may wrongly believe that it is in the best interests of a child to be with the parent who is now in a heterosexual relationship. Or a childcare provider or family member could testify that one parent should not receive custody based on their bias.
You should not ignore these subtle forms of inequality and you should not assume that Washington laws will fully protect you.
Washington Same-Sex Child Custody Attorney
Even with the law on your side, it is imperative that you understand that you may confront some form of prejudice, bias, or discrimination during your LGBT child custody case. A Seattle child custody attorney can help project your rights—and the rights of your children—as you create your parenting plan and work in the best interests of your children. To learn more about our legal services, and to speak with a lawyer today, call the Law Offices of Molly B Kenny at 425-460-0550.