Even though our country has made many laws acknowledging and expanding the rights of the LGBT community, it can be extremely difficult for same-sex couples to adopt a child. Luckily, the state of New York is one of several states to allow same-sex adoptions.
Depending on the situation, the adoption process can be challenging. However, there are a few ways you and your partner can adopt a child in the state of New York.
Adoption After Assisted Pregnancy
Often, same-sex couples rely on collaborative reproduction to conceive a child. This could be male couples using their sperm and an egg donor to conceive or female couples using donated sperm to conceive. Each option comes with legal intricacies that need to be carefully reviewed and implemented.
These legal intricacies include:
- termination of the parental rights any surrogate mothers or donors may have;
- legal recognition of the same-sex couple as the parents of the child or children; and
- court order declaring the couple as legal parents of the child or children.
Birth certificates are not proof of legal parentage, nor is marriage; the fact that you were married when the child was born does not ensure your parental rights will be recognized. To guarantee parental rights, you will need the help of an attorney with experience in same-sex adoptions who can help you legally adopt the child.
Adopting a Child
If your spouse has a biological child from a previous relationship or adopted a child before you were married, you can protect your parental rights through step-parent adoption (or second parent adoption if you are not married).
The legal requirements for adoptions include:
- obtaining the other parent’s consent (if applicable);
- fingerprinting for a background check;
- a letter from the employer of the petitioning parent;
- a copy of your marriage certificate (if married);
- and much more.
Same-sex couples can also choose to adopt a child from the foster care system. The adoption requirements are similar to step-parent or second parent adoption.
Contact Goldweber Epstein LLP
Adopting a child is a serious and often difficult road. Our firm is dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of becoming a parent. We know the forms you need to complete and can guide you in the correct course of action in order to achieve the results you seek.
Call us today at (917) 809-7669 or contact us online for a legal consultation.