SECOND-PARENT ADOPTION AND STEP-PARENT ADOPTION
For Traditional Surrogacies
Although ARTparenting does not match intended parents with any traditional surrogates (a traditional surrogacy is one where the pregnancy is achieved utilizing the surrogate’s own eggs), do ask us about assistance with the legal agreement and other legal needs in Maryland and DC.
For LGBT Couples
We can provide you with the legal services that ensure both parents will be legally recognized as the child’s parents.
When one parent is already the legal parent, a step-parent adoption or a second-parent adoption is needed
(1) to give the non-legal parent his or her status as a legally recognized parent, and (2) to obtain a new birth certificate with both parents’ names on it. The need for this will vary between states and cases. State law will determine the applicable process for parental rights recognition.
Generally, second- and step-parent adoptions are necessary when one is adopting the child of their spouse/significant other while the person who is the legal parent retains their parental rights. Contact Meryl to get your questions answered.
FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES in particular, it is often the case that there is only one legal parent even though two people may equally parent the child and consider themselves co-parents. This is because the status as a legal parent is usually conveyed to the parent who has a genetic connection to a child, such as a genetic mom or genetic dad, (or may be recognized through a court process). It also may be recognized because of marriage, but a second-parent adoption is still recommended.
Similarly, while some couples raise an adopted child together, only one of them may have officially become the adoptive parent because some agencies prohibit same-sex couples from adopting together, but permit an LGBT individual to do so.
A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the legal parent losing any parental rights. In this way, the child will have two (or sometimes even more) legal parents. It also typically grants adoptive parents the same rights as biological parents in custody and visitation matters.
Read more about how this legal tool can help same-sex couples: What LGBT Couples Need to Know: Second-Parent Adoption.
Download our brochure for LGBT couples and singles on the path to parenthood.