Can I Adopt a Child if I Identify as LGBT?
The state of California allows a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt. It also permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt. The state of California also permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt a partner’s child or child of the relationship. Understanding your role in an adoption for same-sex couples can help you protect your rights should you and your spouse get divorced. Consult with a California family law attorney to understand the different levels of rights and responsibilities based on the type of adoption you are considering.
Family Models and Adoption
All prospective parents are required to go through a series of interviews, paperwork, and questionnaires before officially becoming licensed. LGBT families will experience differences in the adoption process compared to that of a heterosexual family. This is due to laws unique to your state. It could also be affected in being able to find a birth mother who is agreeable to work with a same-sex couple or an LGBT single. Similar to an adoption by heterosexuals, there are different family models in adoption:
- Joint Adoption: When a same-sex couple, married or unmarried, jointly adopts a child
- Stepparent Adoption: When one partner of a married same-sex couple adopts the other partner’s biological or adopted child
- Second Parent Adoption: When one partner of a same-sex couple, married or unmarried, adopts the other partner’s biological or adopted child
- Single-parent Adoption: When a single LGBT person adopts a child
Choosing the Type of Adoption
Another important factor of an adoption is understanding and choosing the types of adoption available. There are several types of adoption: open, semi-open and closed. Depending on the type of adoption, it can influence your rights and those of the birth mother. There are pros and cons to each type of adoption. It is important to understand your rights as well as those of the birth mother. Consult with a family law attorney to understand the differences and the legal options each type of adoption carries.
The adoption law for gay members in the community are fairly new and evolving as issues are presented. In the meantime, more and more LGBT people are adopting children who need a safe and loving home. This fact and the legalization of gay marriage will continue to challenge lawmakers. For this reason, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights as a parent who is part of the LGBT community. An LGBT family law attorney can help protect your rights as an adoptive parent should you face issues with the other parent due to a divorce or complications with the birth mother.