Will my sexual orientation prevent me from adopting a child?

Although the adoption law may seem complicated for any parents seeking adoption, it becomes more complex if the prospective adoptive parents are a same-sex couple, or if the prospective adoptive parent is homosexual and single. Each State has different laws about adoption by same-sex couples and homosexual individuals; for example, in some states, the law does not allow single people to adopt, which in many states, automatically leaves out same-sex couples and homosexual individuals, while in other states, there may be a specific law that prohibits that same-sex couples adopt. Consequently, if you are in a relationship with a person of the same sex or if you are a homosexual individual, and are considering adoption, Make sure you know the rights you may have in your State. Lawyers in your area who specialize in adoption law in general could guide you about your specific state laws and which adoption paths are open – and not open – for you and your same-sex partner or for an individual homosexual .

The good news is that a few states like Colorado clearly allow same-sex couples or individual homosexuals to adopt children, and a few other states, in which such adoptions are not clear. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most states.

Until very recently, Florida was the only state with a law that swept homosexual adoptions, either individually or as a couple. Due in large part to the fact that Florida does not allow homosexuals individually or as a couple to become adoptive parents, a state court judge recently ruled that the elimination of such exceptions for 30 years is unconstitutional, and that this case still follows its course through the appeal process.

One of the most common scenarios for same-sex couples who want to adopt a child is known as “second paternity” or adoption for “paternity in participation.” This may be the easiest route a homosexual couple can follow when the State does not allow adoption to a single or same-sex couple; at least 21 states have allowed adoptions for paternity in participation. In this situation, one of the two people who form the same-sex couple follows the legal procedure in order to adopt the child as their own. Once that adoption is finished, then the other person requests the adoption of the child, but without terminating the parental rights of the first person. In this regard, adoptions by second paternity are similar to adoptions by stepparents; the stepfather becomes the legal father of the child, but there is no legal effect on the existing parental relationship between the child and his mother or father. In this way, a same-sex couple can achieve the objective of the child’s adoptive parenthood.

Although there are other arrangements by which an individual homosexual or a same-sex couple can acquire the paternity of a child, none of these arrangements have the binding effects of an adoption. For example, many states allow same-sex couples and a homosexual individual to become adoptive parents, which can lead to a very long-term paternity relationship. Same-sex couples can also acquire a child’s tutoring, which amounts to a legal custody arrangement. However, both designations of guardian and adopter are always subject to termination, resulting in the adoption being the only permanent means for a homosexual individual or same-sex partner to obtain the paternity of a child


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