For men and women in Elizabethtown who want to add to their family through adoption, the journey can be the most exciting experience of their lives. However, the adoption process can be very complex, and the family law attorneys at Clagett and Barnett have found that many individuals and couples need extra guidance as they maneuver the process.
Families today are beautifully diverse and come in all shapes and sizes. No two are alike. And when it comes to adoption, that uniqueness grows. Through adoption, families can be transracial and multicultural, or they can have single parents or same-sex parents.
Adoption allows Elizabethtown individuals and couples, whether same-sex or heterosexual, to realize their dreams of becoming parents. But when it comes to adoption laws, is there a difference between same-sex adoptions and heterosexual adoptions? Continue reading as the family law attorneys of Clagett and Barnett explain.
Equal Legal Terms: Same-Sex and Heterosexual Adoptions
Regardless of sexual orientation, adoption is a great way for Elizabethtown couples and individuals to grow their families. And thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2015, same-sex adoptive parents have the same legal benefits as heterosexual adoptive parents.
As with heterosexual adoptions, if one partner in a same-sex relationship has a child prior to marriage, the other partner can adopt the child through a stepparent adoption. Additionally, when a married same-sex couple wishes to adopt a child, they are able to do so just like heterosexual couples.
It is important to remember that all adoption cases face challenges. Choosing to work with an experienced family law attorney during your adoption process, like those at Clagett and Barnett, can ease your burden and save you time and frustration.
Challenges Unique to Unmarried Lesbian Couples Desiring Legal Parent Status
When it comes to adoption between unmarried lesbian couples, there are some unique challenges. The act of adoption creates a legal status in which the adoptive parent(s) become the “legal” parent(s). A legal parent(s) is someone who has the legal right to live with, make decisions for, and financially support a child.
While both parents in a heterosexual marriage are considered legal parents upon the birth of a child, the same is not always true for lesbian couples who are not married. If one partner in a lesbian relationship births a child, the non-biological partner is most often not considered the legal parent to the child as well.
To protect the parental rights of lesbian couples, our family law attorneys at Clagett and Barnett Attorneys at Law in Elizabethtown recommend that the non-biological parent of a child go through the legal process of adoption. While it could be considered a “backup plan,” this will protect their parental rights in case of the death of a partner, a move to a state with outdated same-sex adoption laws, and future changes to the law.
The Family Law Attorneys at Clagett and Barnett Can Help With Your Adoption Process
In truth, adoption is not a simple process for heterosexual couples or same-sex couples. Before you make a decision to adopt, be sure to seek the advice of a family law attorney in Elizabethtown, you can trust. Our team can walk you through the process and explain everything you need to know regarding your unique adoption process.
Contact our office today at (270) 900-0533 to schedule your free consultation.