There are many questions regarding adoption and parentage for same-sex couples, and these questions have answers. It is important for same-sex couples to understand their rights and necessary procedures so that the law can protect them and not be used against them in the future. What if my same-sex partner has a child?
If your spouse is the biological parent of the child, it is important to go through the adoption process to protect your parental rights as a non-biological parent. The adoption process will allow the non-biological parent to have the same parental rights and responsibilities as the biological parent, which protects the relationship between the non-biological parent and the child. All married couples should be treated the same in the adoption process.
What if we are an unmarried same-sex couple?
Same-sex couples that are unmarried may also adopt, but the process might be a bit different than if the couple was married. Unmarried couples will probably have to adopt as separate people adopting the same child, not as a couple. This would mean that one person will adopt the child first, then, with a minimum of six months in between, the other partner may adopt. For more specific information and guidance on your situation, it is a good idea to speak with a family law attorney that specializes in LGBTQ+ adoptions so you can be as prepared as possible.
What happens before the adoption?
Before the adoption, both members of the couple will have to undergo an FBI background check. Some states also requires a home study or home screening, with the intention of
gathering information to help determine whether the family is fit and ready for adoption. With a home study, the prospective family’s health, family history, financial situation, and home environment will be evaluated. There will also be a home visit. After these evaluations, a report will be developed on the findings and there will be a recommendation on whether the prospective family should adopt.
Will the name of both same-sex parents be listed on the birth certificate?
The birth certificates of adopted children may now include the names of both parents, regardless of gender according to the guidelines of the Texas Department of State Health Services. Adoptions ordered on or after June 26, 2015 will be issued or receive amended supplementary birth certificates that include the names of the same-sex parents who are listed on the court order or certificate of adoption as adoptive parents. Documentation must be provided. As for adoptions before June 26, 2015, amendments to previously issued supplementary birth certificates will be issued on request to include the names of both same-sex parents if they are both listed as parents in court-ordered adoption forms. Documentation for this scenario must be provided as well.
Adoption can be confusing, especially when you aren’t equipped with all the information you need. It is best for couples looking to adopt to know exactly how to protect the rights of both parents in their situation. For legal assistance, contact an Arlington family lawyer at the Brandy Austin Law Firm to get started on your case with a consultation.