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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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When Do Second-Parent Adoptions Play a Role in Same-Sex Marriages?

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County lgbtq divorce lawyer child custodySince 2013, gay marriage has been legal in the state of Illinois, and since 2015, it has been legal throughout the entire country. Many LGBTQ couples rejoiced in their newfound ability to get married, but they may still have a number of issues to overcome when it comes to LGBTQ families and the legal dynamics of those relationships. One of the issues that LGBTQ couples still face is children and how both parents can have equal parenting rights to those children. Many laws today are still worded to accommodate “traditional” parentage, with a mother and a father being the child’s parents. A handful of states (including Illinois) have developed what is called second-parent adoption, which is useful in both LGBTQ marriages and divorces.

Defining Second-Parent Adoption

Also known as a co-parent adoption, a second-parent adoption is one of the best ways an LGBTQ couple can ensure both parents have a legal relationship with their child. Typically, establishing legal parentage is still almost entirely based on the biological ties a child has with his or her parent(s). In many cases, when same-sex couples have children, one of the spouses is the child’s biological parent, such as when the child is conceived through a surrogate or using a sperm donor.  

Why Use a Second-Parent Adoption?

Marriages between a man and a woman are rather simple when it comes to determining parentage. If the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth, the man she was married to is presumed to be the child’s biological and legal father. In same-sex marriages, legal parentage is not that easy. Even if the parents are married when the child is born, the child is typically not considered to be the legal child of the non-biological spouse. Second-parent adoptions allow the non-biological parent of the child to establish legal parentage, ensuring that their parental rights and relationship with the child are legally recognized.

Contact a DuPage County Same-Sex Adoption Lawyer to Solidify Your Parental Rights

A second-parent adoption protects parental rights, no matter what happens during a couple’s marriage. If the couple chooses to divorce, each parent will have the right to share in the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time, and the child will be able to receive child support from both parents. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we can help you complete a second-parent adoption or address any family law issues that you may experience. Our skilled Elmhurst, IL LQBTQ family law attorneys have more than 95 years of combined experience helping families from all walks of life solidify and protect parental relationships. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-852-9700.

 

Sources:

https://www.hrc.org/resources/second-parent-adoption

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/us/gay-pride-lgbtq-same-sex-parents.html

 

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