Law Office of Bridget A. McCann / Bridget McCann
Law Office of Bridget A. McCann / Bridget McCann 303.832.2599
Law Office of Bridget McCann
Representing Colorado's Non-Traditional Families
Representing Colorado's Non-Traditional Families

Denver, Colorado LGBT Family Law Attorney

Two Moms Family - Denver Colorado Lawyer Attorney Family Law Estate Planning Domestic Partnership Dissolution Domestic Partnership Agreement Gay Rights Child Custody Adoption Same-Sex Partners LGBT GLBT Child Support Gay Lesbian Family Same-sex Marriage Gay Adoption TransgenderDissolution of Civil Union or Gay Marriage (Gay Divorce)
Gay and lesbian couples in Colorado now have access to the same laws as do heterosexual couples when their marriages or civil unions come to an end.  For general information, please, refer to the Colorado Family Law page of this website.

However, there are still many unanswered questions related to LGBT divorce and family law in Colorado, and the legal landscape continues to evolve.  I make it a priority to stay informed on changes in Colorado LGBT family law.  I can help you understand and navigate that legal landscape.

Adding Your Name to Your Child’s Birth Certificate - Maternity and Paternity Cases
Maternity and paternity are not defined solely by biology; you do not have to be biologically related to your child to be declared the child’s mother or father.  If you have raised the child in your home and have held the child out as your child, then you may qualify to file a maternity or paternity action and have the court declare you a legal parent to the child and have your name added to the birth certificate.   For example, this option works well for a lesbian mother who is not the birth mother of her child but she and her partner had the child together and raise the child together.  This option eliminates the need for an adoption and is, therefore, often faster and less expensive.  And, the legal or birth parent need not consent, so it might be an option even after the couple separates.

Two Father Family - Denver Colorado Lawyer Attorney Family Law Estate Planning Domestic Partnership Dissolution Domestic Partnership Agreement Gay Rights Adoption Child Custody Same-Sex Partners LGBT GLBT Child Support Gay Lesbian Family Same-sex Marriage Gay Adoption TransgenderSecond-Parent and Step-parent Adoptions
Second-parent and step-parent adoptions offer avenues for the adoption of one spouse/partner's legal child by his or her same-sex spouse or partner. If you are in a Colorado civil union or are legally married, then you may be eligible to do a step-parent adoption of your partner or spouse's child.  Step-parent adoptions do not require a home study, as do second parent adoptions.  Second parent adoption, or a maternity/paternity action as described above, is still an option for couples who are not legally married or in a civil union.  Adoption makes the adopting parent a legal parent under Colorado law, with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a legal parent to a child. For instance, the child will be recognized as a legal heir of, with the right to inherit from, both parents. If the couple separates, both parents will have equal rights under Colorado laws dealing with the allocation of parental responsibilities (custody, decision-making for the child, and child support). 

Whether your situation is best suited for an adoption or a maternity/paternity action demands on the specific facts.  I am well versed in these matters and can help you make that determination.

Domestic Partnership Agreements
Non-married same-sex couples have many, if not all, of the same legal issues as do married or civil unioned couples, but the legal tools we use to assist them are sometimes different. For instance, couples who are not married or in a civil union do not have access to the divorce process, but they, just like all parents, do have access to the family courts for issues involving children. Non-married couples can also take advantage of domestic partnership agreements and second-parent adoptions.

Domestic Partnership Agreements are legal contracts that can provide rights and obligations such as:

  • Property rights, including agreeing to an "equitable" division of property and debt should the domestic partnership end
  • Right to "spousal" maintenance
  • Allocation of parental responsibilities (parenting time, decision-making, and child support) for children born into or adopted during the domestic partnership
  • Right to hospital visitation

Clients entering into a domestic partnership agreement should also consider estate planning documents addressing the right to inherit and the authority to make health care, financial and end-of-life decisions.

Designated Beneficiaries
Colorado's Designated Beneficiaries Act allows any two competent unmarried unrelated adults to designate each other as their beneficiary and decision-maker in case of incapacity. This contract covers areas such as inheritance, life insurance benefits, health insurance benefits, hospital and nursing home visitation, wrongful death claims, worker's compensation, medical decision-making, and retirement benefits.

Birth Certificate Changes for Transgendered Individuals
Colorado law permits transgendered individuals born in Colorado to change the gender on their birth certificates. Colorado Revised Statutes, § 25-2-115(4), provides:

"Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure and that such individual's name has been changed, the certificate of birth of such individual shall be amended as prescribed by regulation."

We can help transgendered clients change their names and obtain the necessary court order to change the gender on their birth certificates. We recognize how important and affirming this process is for transgendered clients, and am happy to assist them with the legal aspects of their transition. If you have undergone gender reassignment surgery, and were born in Colorado, please give us a call.

PLEASE REMEMBER: This statute pertains only to birth certificates issued in Colorado. We cannot help with birth certificates issued out-of-state.

More GLBT Resources, click here.

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and should not be used in deciding whether to act or to refrain from acting. Please see the firm’s full disclaimer on the Firm Policy page.

Law Office of Bridget A. McCann / Bridget McCann