Second Parent Adoptions: Not As Easy As You May Have Thought (Unfortunately!)

Unless it touches you personally, many people don’t realize that even though same-sex marriage has been making heading, there is still a fight on the topic of second-parent adoption for same-sex couples. First let’s define second-parent adoptions. A second-parent adoption occurs when the first parent voluntarily desires their partner to become the legal parent of their biological or adoptive child. They may be a married couple or they may be unmarried.

Today there are seven states that prohibit adopting an unmarried partner’s child if the partner is gay. There are nine states that allow second-parent adoptions of gay parents as long as the couple is married or has a civil union or an established domestic partnership. There are twelve states that permit second-parent adoptions regardless of the couple’s relationship status. That leaves all other states as ones that do not have clear laws on the issue.

This map highlights the breakdown of states and their laws regarding second-parent adoptions.

The HRC has developed a map that outlines which states where LGBT couples can adopt together and which states they will encounter obstacles.

There is still much to do to gain rights for children and their families. Same-sex second-parent adoptions should not be this challenging. We look forward to the day when all individuals and couples have the ability to adopt ~ then we can truly celebrate equal rights for children and their families.

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