Why is it Important for Same Sex Couples to do a Second Parent Adoption?

When same sex couples decide to start a family, they have plenty of options to make their dreams a reality. Unfortunately, these couples can also face several unique legal issues.

Whether you’re planning to adopt a new child together, become a parent through surrogacy or a sperm donation, or adopt your partner’s child from a previous relationship, you’ll need to pursue the appropriate form of adoption to safeguard your legal rights to be the child’s parent. Second parent adoption is one of the most important concepts you can use to protect your family and its new members.

What is Second Parent Adoption?

When one member of a couple is the biological or adoptive parent of a child, the other member can petition to become the child’s other legal parent.  This is called second parent adoption, or co-parent adoption, and it’s an option that’s available to both same sex and opposite sex couples in Connecticut. Without a marriage or civil union, you can use the second parent adoption process to make sure you are both considered the legal parents of your child.

Why Consider a Second Parent Adoption?

Second parent adoption can help both married and unmarried same sex couples in different ways.

1) Both parents get the same rights. If you and your partner are unmarried, it’s possible that only one of you is a biological or adoptive parent with full legal rights over your child. The other partner may not have those same rights. A second parent adoption gives you and your partner the same parental rights, including the right to live with your child, and the right to make decisions about the child’s education, health, and well being, to name a few.

2) Both parents get the same responsibilities. Legal parents have certain built-in legal duties, like the responsibility to support their children financially. Unmarried parents can benefit from second parent adoption in case of a potential breakup down the road, giving either parent a possible claim to things like child support and child custody.

3) The adoption applies in all states. Even if you are married, a second parent adoption can offer much more protection for your parental rights as a same sex couple. Connecticut law presumes that when a child is born or adopted into a marriage, both spouses have parental rights over that child. Because other states have different legislation on same sex parenthood, that presumption may not carry over from Connecticut into a different state. An adoption, on the other hand, is much more likely to be honored by other states if one or both of you should move away.

Find Professional Support

At Freed Marcroft, we are always excited to hear from couples who are looking to adopt. If you’re interested in making a new addition to your family, make sure you get dependable legal guidance from our team. Contact us to start your family on a strong legal foundation.

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