Second Parent Adoption

Second parent adoption is a court proceeding in which a same sex parent adopts their partner’s biological or legal child. At the conclusion of this court proceeding, the judge signs an order of adoption that is legally recognized throughout the United States.

Completing a second parent adoption establishes the legal relationship between your child and the non-legal or non-birth parent. The order of adoption ensures that both parents will have equal legal rights, responsibilities and obligations to your child. This provides the fullest protection and security for LGBTQ families.

Second Parent Adoption and Marriage Equality

Many queer couples and families question whether it is necessary to complete a second parent adoption if the parents were married at the time of the child’s birth. In New York, when a child is born into a marriage, both parents will be listed on the child’s birth certificate as the legal parents. Although the relationship between the non-birth parent and the child may be recognized in New York State, there is no guarantee that another state will recognize the non-birth parent’s relationship to the child based on the birth certificate.

The best practice is completing a second parent adoption whether you are married or not. The LGBTQ community must continue to utilize the legal tools available to achieve full equality and full legal protection for our children and families. An order of adoption is entitled to full, faith and credit recognition throughout the country and is the only way to fully protect your family. Teresa will provide guidance and counsel and help you navigate this critical process.