There are a lot of different ways that same-sex couples can have children. If they are two women, they can adopt, have a child through a sperm donor or have a fertilized egg from another mother placed in the womb. There are other options, and many available for two males as well. The more complicated problems, however, arise when same-sex parents decide to divorce.
Depending on the way the child came into the couple's lives, one parent may have a stronger claim to custody than the other. That's because one parent might be viewed as a stepparent. In cases of adoption, it might be that only one parent's name was listed as the adoptive parent in the paperwork. In cases of artificial insemination, the biological parent may be the only parent listed on the child's birth certificate. In these situations, the other parent could face serious challenges if he or she wants to have custody and/or visitation rights following a divorce.