Second Parent Adoptions

  • parents and child

There are times when a second parent must adopt to obtain legal rights of their own child. Usually this occurs with same-sex couples when the second parent is the intended parent from the start. This is different from a stepparent adoption where a new parent is standing in place of the biological parent.

Due to outdated laws, two men or two women are unable to both be listed on the birth certificate without court intervention. This is a sexual orientation bias. Someday it will change, but for now, the adoption process allows the second parent to be added. Although the process takes a few months, the birth record will not indicate that there were changes or that an adoption took place. It simply lists both intended parents.

For example, a couple works with a surrogate or gestational carrier to carry their child.  The surrogate is not a biological or intended parent, but the birth certificate will list the surrogate. The birth certificate may list one of the intended parents. To list both parents, they must terminate the parental rights of the surrogate and the second parent adopts. In rare cases, both will need to adopt.

Interesting Fact: A heterosexual couple who uses surrogacy does not need a second parent adoption. The parents can request the court establish maternity or paternity. They also avoid the adoption restrictions and high level of scrutiny required to adopt.

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Brittany Labadie is the Managing Partner at Lewis Labadie. She has been working with Lewis Labadie since it opened.  Her current focus is with adoption cases, including juvenile adoptions, adult adoptions, foster care adoptions, same-sex adoption, surrogacy adoptions, and when necessary termination of parental rights. She works throughout the State of Arizona.

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