Alternative Family Structures

The days of the traditional two parent, 2.5 kids and a dog family unit being the norm may be over. Increasingly women are deciding to have children without a partner, same sex couples may decide to adopt or have children by some form of donor assisted conception or surrogacy and there may be more than two “parents” involved in family relationships.

The law has had to play some very fast “catch-up” to accommodate all this and it is still doing so. As a firm we have been part of the vanguard, having represented the two lesbian mothers in the High Court case which defined for the first time the concept of “primary” and “secondary” parents and warned of the need to take proper advice before entering into such relationships and to set out agreed expectations in writing.

We are able to give that advice and draft the agreements that the High Court considered to be crucial – whether you are the birth parent to be or the donor.

We can advise you about the complex law relating to donor conception and surrogacy.

We can advise you about the inheritance rights of the children involved and draft wills to protect and provide for them.

And, if things do go wrong, we can advise you about what to do to try to put them right and represent you in any Court proceedings that ensue.

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My family has much to thank Deborah Baxter of Baxter Harries Ltd for.
We have relied (on more than once occasion) on Deborah for support and expertise in extremely difficult and emotional circumstances.

Laura, thank you so much for all you have done over the last few years
and for listening when I’ve had a moan.
I feel like you have been a friend as well as our lawyer.

Thank you for all your help, advice and support.
We really appreciate it and do not think
we would be where we are now without you.

All matters were well covered and dealt with in a very professional manner
making my wife and I happy to be dealt with in a friendly manner
and being treated very courteously.