The Law Offices of

B J Fadem & Associates, APC

Certified Family Law Specialist

Second-parent adoption is the adoption of a child by a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child. A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the “first parent” losing any parental rights.

Adoptive parents usually have the same rights as biological parents in custody and visitation matters in most States that allow for this type of adoption.

For same-sex couples, it is often the case that there is only one legal parent even though two people may equally parent the child and think of themselves as co-parents. This is because the status as a legal parent is automatically conveyed to the parent who has a biological connection to a child, such as a biological mom or biological dad.

Similarly, while some couples raise an adopted child together, only one of them may have officially become the adoptive parent because some agencies prohibit same-sex couples from adopting together but permit an LGBT individual to do so.

A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the “first parent” losing any parental rights. In this way, the child comes to have two legal parents. It also typically grants adoptive parents the same rights as biological parents in custody and visitation matters.

Not all states allow second parent adoptions.

If second-parent adoption is unavailable where you live, you should prepare a written co-parenting agreement or a custody agreement with your partner. At least, you should gather other evidence that can prove that you are a family.

It is important to recognize that these steps are not guaranteed to secure your parental rights because courts are not required to uphold such agreements but, rather, consider the best interest of the child the primary concern.

But many attorneys recommend that you complete such agreements anyway so that they may be used to demonstrate your intention to the court in the event a custody dispute develops.

Because family law varies from state to state, it is recommended that you consult an attorney from our firm who is familiar with these issues in our state for help drawing up such documents.

Your issue may be time sensitive, please contact our Law Firm at (408) 280-1220 to set-up your Initial Consultation.

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B J Fadem & Associates, APC
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San Jose, California 95113 US
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