As the definition of “family” changes and breakthroughs in legal rights become a reality, adoption has become a more inclusive institution than it once was.
Today it is not uncommon for partnered people to live together, share assets, and exist similarly to a married couple without actually being married. Likewise, it is not uncommon for unmarried people to have children together. If you and your partner are not married and are considering adoption, you may be curious about the adoption rights of unmarried couples.
The laws that define adoption rights differ between states. Marriage is not a condition of adoption in New York. Unmarried couples can adopt a child together or a person can adopt their partner’s child even if they are not married.
Although it is absolutely legal for an unmarried couple to adopt a child, doing so can be more difficult for couples who are not married. If you are not married and are considering adoption, you may face discrimination from adoption agencies and could encounter more hurdles during the process.
The state of New York permits same-sex adoptions. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples can adopt children even if they are not married.
Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding same-sex adoptions will likely be amplified if a couple is also not married. An adoption agency’s own biases may contribute to added difficulties during the adoption process for unmarried, same-sex couples. Although you may face more difficulties and need to wait longer to adopt a child, you should not get discouraged — your marital status and sexuality legally cannot prevent you from adopting a child.
Single Parent Adoptions
In addition to unmarried couple adoptions, the state of New York permits adoptions by single, unpartnered people. Like unmarried couples and same-sex couples, single parents may face stigma when attempting to adopt.
Despite the existing stigma surrounding “untraditional” adoption situations, the main characteristic that should determine your eligibility to adopt a child is your fitness as a parent.
Remember: Adoption agencies cannot legally deny an adoption just because you are not married.
Goldweber Epstein LLP assists prospective parents throughout the adoption process. Contact us to discuss your adoption case.
To schedule a consultation with our legal team, send us a message or call 917.809.7669.