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Questions about Same Sex Adoption Laws

Parenting rights vary widely from state to state. Some states have statewide legislation, while others only cover some jurisdictions. These differences in law can seem even more complex during same sex adoptions and the provision of adoption laws. Read below five of the top same sex adoption questions, answered by the Lawyers on JustAnswer.

What happens to the second parent's rights in same sex adoptions after a split?

Many states have settled that a second parent has no legal rights to raise or make decisions about to the child after a split, even if that second parent has acted and behaved like a parent for the entirety of the child's life. In the worst case scenario, a court may treat the second parent as a complete stranger to the relationship between the child and the first parent, giving the first parent the absolute right to dictate all future interactions between the child and the second parent.

On the other hand, some courts have been softer and more flexible, often allowing a second parent court-ordered visitation time, if the second parent has played an integral role in the child's life. The courts making these decisions often call the second parent as the "de facto parent" meaning that the person has lived with and raised the child just as a regular legal parent would have.

Does Michigan allow single gay adoptions

Michigan permits single LGBT adoption (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) where an unmarried person seeks to adopt a child that has been put up for adoption by the birth parent(s) or by the State. However, Michigan prohibits joint adoption where an unmarried couple petitions the court to adopt a child that has been put for adoption by the birth parent(s) or by the State. If there is second-parent adoption (where one parent already has legal rights of the child and a second parent is petitioning for joint rights), then usually initial parent does not give up parental rights. While these are general provisions of the law, there can be finer points of your circumstances or the jurisdiction that you live in, that could influence the court's decision. If you want a legal Expert to evaluate your situation and give you legal insights, you can ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer.

In Florida, can two gay males, unmarried, both divorced from their respective spouses, and whom now are living together, adopt each other's children in order to have their "own family" and by force of law create "new" siblings, in spite of the children’s mothers' objections?

Adoption by same sex couples is legal in Florida. However, since there is no law that specifically addresses this specific situation, the Courts can take it on a case to case basis and rule based on the specific circumstances of the case. However if the other parent still has custody, adoption may not be possible. You would first have to terminate the mother's rights or the mother would have to give up her rights before you can petition for adoption.

Can gay women have a second parent adoption in Texas if so what is the process?

Texas law permits an adult to petition to adopt as per TX FAMILY CODE ANN. § 162.001. If you are trying to prepare your own petition you would need to look for the Texas Family Practice Manual--copy the petition, the checklists, and orders out of that section for stepparent adoption and then prepare your own petition. You may have to modify the language as necessary. File your motion with a cover letter asking for a hearing and copy the other party. You may also be able go to the county law library at the courthouse and copy what you need.

Can a same gender couple petition jointly to adopt?

In 10 states and the District of Columbia, there is specific legislation allowing LGBT couples to adopt. These include California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Vermont. In addition, in two states — Nevada and New Hampshire — same sex couples have been able to adopt in some jurisdictions. Two states have legislation expressly forbidding same sex couples from adopting. These are Mississippi & Utah.

Since each state — and in some cases each jurisdiction within a state — handles same sex adoptions differently, you need to find the laws in your area. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer your questions about gay adoption laws and provide you with their legal insights on your case, quickly and affordably.
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