Poly parents having children


New member
I am in a poly relationship with my husband and girlfriend. My girlfriend and I would like to have kids one day through a fertility center. Is there a way to have my girlfriend listed as the child’s second parent instead of my husband on the birth certificate according to uk law? My husband and I also want children but I’m sure the law is clear about those rules.


Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Bbeverley,

I am not familiar enough with UK law to answer your question, but I would suggest you set up a (say, one-hour?) consultation with a lawyer. I think all three of you should be at the consultation, so that the lawyer can see that all of you are consenting. Your question will probably delve deep into the nuances of the law.

Kevin T.

Mr Maple

New member
You should be able to list them as a guardian or some other position like aunts, uncles etc. unless you want to try and push it and how much of a battle you are willing to do for it. IMHO listing as guardian would be better and less problems.


Well-known member
Sperm donation at a UK registered clinic – where a child is conceived through sperm donation at a UK registered clinic, the second legal parent will be identified and listed on the paperwork provided by the clinic once the sperm donation has been made. The second parent can either be the birth mother’s partner or the biological father (depending on the circumstances and if he is a known donor). You and your partner can give written consent for your partner to become the second legal parent, provided consent is given prior to insemination and various conditions are met under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (HFEA) 2008. If your partner does not wish to be the child’s second parent it is advisable that they sign a form confirming this
I actually know someone who is parsing this out for other reasons. This is where they're currently at with the wording of current law. If you see above, it sounds like you're husband could sign a form saying that he doesn't want to be a named parent. But all the wording seems to specifically say that your partner can do this, opposed to your spouse. They seem to use the word spouse when they mean it.

If they do mean partner or spouse, then it sounds like he can do that, and then later the other can adopt the child.

I don't think there will be a way to both stay married to your husband and present to the clinic as a same sex couple and both become immediate parents to the child at birth.

When a mother isn't married or in a civil partnership, her partner can be seen as the child's second parent if both women:

are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic
have made a 'parenthood agreement'
However, for both parents' details to be recorded on the birth certificate, they must do one of the following:

register the birth jointly
complete a 'Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage' form and one parent takes the signed form when she registers the birth
get a document from the court (eg a court order) giving the second female parent parental responsibility and one parent shows the document when she registers the birth
You see the bit in bold doesn't specify if it means married to the same sex partner or married to someone else. They don't think of poly people.

In the US, there's something called an affidavit of non-paternity that you need if you're separated and having a baby with someone else. This is presented on registering the birth so the non-spousal partner can be named as the father. But this is designed for a marriage that is soon to end in divorce and perhaps a new marriage.

The bit in italics also puts it on the clinics. Like they're saying if they'd accept you and your girlfriend as the parents of the potential baby, then you can also register as the baby's parents in the same way as other unmarried heterosexual parents after birth.

So the people I know are thinking what if they just turn up and register the birth? A lot of people say that the only one who can make this a problem is if the husband tries to exercise his legal right to be assumed as a parent. If everyone is okay with arrangement and/or the husband doesn't want that responsibility for the child, then maybe just having them assume you and your husband are over will work.