These judgments usually make a legal determination that an adult is a legal parent of a child based on the adult’s conduct with respect to the child.For example, you may have planned with another adult (often your spouse or partner) for creation of a child using donated genetic material and medical assistance.Couples in states that recognize their marriage, civil union or registered domestic partnership may be able to take advantage of the process for step-parent adoption, which works the same way, but may skip some of these steps and move a little bit more quickly.The earlier in a child’s life that a couple seeks an adoption the better, because difficulties can arise at any time.The association did not appear to be modified by type of OC use (progestin-only vs.
When adoption is unavailable or impractical, some states may allow you to seek a parentage judgment—a court judgment confirming the legal parental status of the non-biological or non-adoptive parent.
For couples anticipating a child’s birth together, much of the work can be done even before the baby is born. When the adoption has been completed, the child has two legal parents, and each parent stands on equal legal footing with regard to the child.
REMINDER: Even if you live in a state that respects your marriage, civil union, or statewide registered domestic partnership, adoption is still a critical way to ensure that your child(ren) are adequately protected.
Consider other ways to protect your family’s legal connections to each other, whether through judgments, agreements, wills or other documents. For legal help, consult Lambda Legal’s Help Desk or the other resources in “Tools for Selecting an Attorney.” Take the power!
If you and your partner are parenting children together but one of you is not a legal parent, get a co-parent adoption—if your state allows it—to establish the legal relationship between the child and each of his or her parents. Securing the legal relationship of both parents provides your child with the protection of having two legally recognized sources of parental care and support in all circumstances.