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Protecting the Rights of Transgender Parents and Their Children: A Guide for Parents and Lawyers

“More and more transgender parents are fighting to protect their relationships with their children in the face of custody challenges. Yet they face significant obstacles. Parents who have come out or transitioned after having a child with a spouse or partner have seen their gender transition raised as a basis to deny or restrict child custody or visitation. Transgender people who formed families after coming out or transitioning have faced challenges to their legal status as parents, often based on attacks on the validity of their marriages ... The purpose of this guide is to provide information to transgender parents and their attorneys to help them protect parent-child relationships and assist them when faced with disputes over child custody issues” (p. 5). Sections of this report address: protecting against challenges to the parental fitness of transgender parents-overview of the case law, recommendations for parents prior to transitioning or coming out to their families, and advocacy suggestions for parents and their lawyers if faced with custody dispute; protecting against challenges to the legal parental status of transgender parents-the legal landscape, recommendations for parents to secure their status as legal parents, and advocacy suggestions for parents and their lawyers if faced with a challenge to legal parentage; and who to contact if facing a problem. Appendixes provide: an overview of case law regarding transgender parents; and sample expert testimony related to transgender issues.