Adoption and Family Law for LGBT+
LGBT+ couples face many challenges when it comes to adoption and other aspects of family law. In some states, rules that apply to same-sex couples interfere with their dream to adopt children and protect the wellbeing of their families.
The legalization of same-sex marriage gave LGBT+ individuals the right to marry and be recognized as married throughout the United States. But some legal obstacles still exist.
Knowing the legal factors to consider when adopting a child is the first step to giving you, your partner, and your child the legal protection you need.
Adoption Concerns for LGBT+
Some states allow adoption agencies to deny adoptions to LGBT+ couples based on religious rights.
According to those who want to restrict adoption for LGBT+ couples, adoption agencies aren’t obligated to place children in family structures they don’t agree with.
LGBT+ couples face reluctance from agencies and social workers when seeking to adopt children. Opponents of the LGBT+ community argue that non-traditional family structures can negatively impact the wellbeing of children.
Becoming the legal parent of a child allows you to make important decisions related to the child’s health care, education, religious upbringing, and other factors. You can provide the financial support needed to meet the needs of your child.
If an LGBT+ couple decides to divorce, issues related to parental rights can become even more complex. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney who understands the needs of LGBT+ couples can help you maintain the parental rights you need.
Parental Agreements for LGBT+
Parental agreements can be useful for same-sex couples in which one partner is the legal parent of a child. A parental agreement can establish specific responsibilities and rights for each parent.
An agreement can outline the rights of parents should they decide to dissolve the relationship.
Parental agreements can protect the family when financial disputes arise. Financial support, housing, and visitation are elements that can be included in your parental agreement.
In heterosexual marriages, parental presumption grants parental rights to both parents when they conceive a child. But this becomes complicated in same-sex marriages where only one partner is the biological parent of the child.
Although same-sex marriage is now recognized on a federal level, the application of parental presumption to LGBT+ couples hasn’t been fully implemented throughout the United States.
Legal Protection for Today’s LGBT+ Families
Children who are raised by LGBT+ couples can receive the same love, care, attention, and support as those raised by heterosexual couples. But the road to adoption may still be difficult for many LGBT+ families.
Family law attorneys can help LGBT+ couples secure parental rights according to your unique needs and circumstances.
If you’re a non-biological parent, you can use the legal avenues used by step-parents to adopt step-children to get the parental rights you need.
Creating some legal relationship protects your family and ensures that your parental rights are recognized no matter where you go within the United States. Parental agreements can outline the rights you and your partner have established for your family.
Single LGBT+ individuals face an even more difficult time adopting children. They’re often scrutinized more heavily than LGBT+ or heterosexual couples.
Adoptions can protect the parental rights of LGBT+ couples. A family law attorney who’s experienced in working with the LGBT+ community can help you address issues related to single-parent, joint, and step-parent adoption.
Understanding the challenges that LGBT+ couples still face can help you get the legal resources you need to protect your family’s wellbeing and future.