Marriage equality, as determined by the Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, is an important step in the legal recognition of all families in Texas. However, while many rights are now protected for all married couples, it is still important in the case of same-sex spouses with children to ensure that both spouses are legally recognized as legal parents to all of the children in the family. The best way to protect the parental rights of both parents is via a second-parent adoption.
What is a Second-Parent Adoption?
A second-parent adoption allows a same-sex parent to adopt the biological or adoptive child of his or her partner or spouse. The most important aspect of this type of adoption is that it allows the second parent to adopt the child without the first parent losing any parental rights. A second-parent adoption gives the child two legal parents and fully protects the parental rights of both parents.
For many same-sex couples with children, there is often only one legally recognized parent. This situation can occur due to one parent having a biological connection to the child, or because only one parent was permitted to adopt the child. Despite the fact that the child is being raised by both parents, in order to ensure that the parental relationship is legally recognized and protected, it is vital that the parents pursue a second-parent adoption.
Important Information About Second-Parent Adoptions
- Marriage does not automatically protect the rights of both parents, even after the Obergefell Only a legal second-parent adoption will give both parents the same rights.
- The adoption process is similar to that of a step-parent adoption and will require FBI background checks and a home study. Although these processes are strange in the situation of a second-parent adoption, at this time they are required by law.
- It is important to work with an attorney who is experienced with adoption by same-sex couples in order to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Many clients also find it helpful to work with an attorney, such as Meghan Alexander, who has personal experience in same-sex couple adoptions. At Alexander Law Firm, we have years of experience working with and advocating for the rights of same-sex families.
Second Parent Adoptions for one child in Travis County are completed for a flat rate of $2000. This flat fee includes court filing fees, but does not include the cost of a home study.
At Alexander Law Firm we are here to help protect your family and your parental rights. If you have questions about your family’s situation, your rights as a parent, or are in need of assistance with a second-parent adoption, contact us. We will listen to you, discuss your situation and your options, and help advocate for your family.