This article will briefly inform you about the same-sex relationships and how to professionally work cases in which this is relevant. The article is based on information gleaned from the power point first presented at the Caseworker Summit in June 2017.
Within the article and the power point pdfs you will come to:
- Know about same-sex relationships and about gender identity
- Understand professional behavior as it relates to this topic.
- Know the US and OK laws regarding same-sex marriage and parentage.
- Know what questions are relevant when working a child support case with same-sex parents
- Be familiar with different same-sex relationship fact patterns
- Identify necessary form and process changes
Part One: Sexual Orientation & Gender Identify
In 2015 the Ad Council launched the Love Has No Labels campaign and video with a simple message – to rethink the biases you didn’t even know you had. Ultimately, they sought to promote acceptance and appreciation of all communities regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, age and ability by raising awareness for implicit biases. Although DHS does not allow viewing of YouTube videos Love Has No Labels is an Emmy-winning video filmed on Valentine’s Day in 2015 which features real people in diverse relationships whose identities are hidden by an x-ray screen. As they embrace, dance, and kiss, viewers mentally fill in the blanks of what constitutes friendship, romantic love, and family. When the couples are revealed, so too are our individual implicit biases, as each relationship spanned different religions, races, disabilities, and more, demonstrating that “love has no labels.”
Most of us agree that people should be treated respectfully and fairly. Yet many people still report feeling discriminated against. For example, one in five LGBT people perceive feeling there is little or no acceptance of their community. Six in ten Latinos perceive that discrimination is a major problem and eight in ten African Americans perceive that they are not fully satisfied with the way they are treated in society. One of the reasons might be that we are actually discriminating unintentionally—some call this implicit bias. On a broader scale, it can perpetuate disparities by impacting someone’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment or get a fair trial. To end bias, we need to become aware of it. And then we need to do everything within our power to stop it in ourselves, others, and institutions.
The first power point pdf—Sexual Orientation & Gender Identify: The Basics—discusses basic information concerning Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and should be viewed prior to the second power point pdf.
Part Two: Working Cases, the Law and OSIS
What Makes a Family? A family is a group of people going through the world together. Families are often made of up adults and the children they care for.
People have so many different ideas of family because there are so many different types of families. Some families include single-parent, adoptive, or LGBT families; children living with grandparents; children living with large extended families, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; and children splitting time among different family members.
This second pdf—Working Cases, the Law & OSIS—is a little longer than the first one and discusses the following information:
- Retrain Your Thinking – Understand Our Customer
- Working Cases with Same Sex Parents
- Understanding the Law
- Building a Case
- Case Examples
- Parentage Challenges
- Updating Legal Status on OSIS – OSIS updates & Ideas for OK Benefits
- Revised Pleadings – Suggestion is that we have a NOPSO for same sex parent cases = NOPSO S/S
Resources and References for Same Sex Parentage Issues
- Uniform Parentage Act, read as gender neutral
- U.P.A. Guide
- About 90% complete.
- Based on Sections 7700-101 through 7700-902 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
- Oklahoma Administrative Code
- CE Paternity Legal Review Process