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Can you please tell me:
(1) Are you a same sex couple?
(2) Have you consulted legal counsel?
(3) How does Minnesota figure into the equation?
Yes, we are a same-sex couple. We live just on the MN border, so if SD is impossible to deal with legally, we are open to the option of working with a lawyer/clinic in Minnesota. We haven't spoken with anyone in person. We have left messages stating our intent. The only answers that we've received back are, "we don't do adoption/ivf stuff."
Hello again Michael,My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.Sure sorry for your circumstances, truly. My heart goes out to you.
I have solid family law experience and a special interest and passion for LGBT legal issues. Accordingly, I offer you (and please relay to your partner) my very best wishes for a joyous and happy family life!
I'm a native Nebraskan myself, and our region (including South Dakota and Minnesota) are far from being particularly "friendly" in such cases (with the notable exception of Iowa). In fact, Nebraska (and other jurisdictions) are downright hostile to folks in your shoes. All hope is not lost, however, not at all. In fact, South Dakota has no explicit statutory prohibitions (adoption, donor insemination, surrogacy, etc.) on LGBT couples wishing to accomplish your objective. That's very good news! Now, the trick is finding competent legal representation and resources to turn the substantive law into a reality for you good folks. Toward that end, I would suggest contacting the following resource, which specifically handles parenting matters:
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
Midwest Regional Office
11 E. Adams, Suite 1008
Chicago, IL 60603
Help Desk Online Form
If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.
I hope all works out for both of you.
Thank you. That's about how much we know. We are also quite close to Iowa. The problem, as we understand it, is that there must be a mother listed on a SD birth certificate and second parent adoptions are not legal in South Dakota. Are one of those roadblocks not the case in Iowa? Also, will Lambda Legal be able to help us in this matter in our part of he country?
Hi Michael,Thanks for writing back. Great to hear from you!The issue of "second parents" is indeed highly relevant. I would respectfully XXXXX XXXXX a bit with what you've been told. All we can say, at this juncture, is the following. South Dakota law: (1) allows single GLBT adoption; (2) is silent (not prohibitive) on the topic of joint adoption; and (3) is silent (not prohibitive) as well when it comes to second parent adoption. That's why, in all candor, the starting point is to retain competent family law counsel in the event you encounter a challenge. In other words, in the absence of clear legislative guidance, we're stuck with anticipating challenges at the executive, administrative, and/or judicial branches or levels of government. I would say Iowa law is basically the same boat. Minnesota law is pretty much the same, as well, although a bit "friendlier" environment (yet still essentially silent) when it comes to second parent cases. I've seen folks, both in my professional practice and personal friends, expend tremendous energy and frustration in "forum shopping" (trying to find "the" ideal venue), which is why I really would make a targeted search and start with a good lawyer. And yes, I can say that Lambda Legal operations do cover your neck of the woods (through the regional office I provided to you, one of five if memory serves me). I can say so from personal experience, but to nail down actual names you would have to submit a referral request.
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