Rumbold & Seidelman has a long history representing members of the LGBT community. We are members of the Family Law Institute of the national LGBT Bar Association and have expertise in addressing the challenges confronted by same sex parents in obtaining legal recognition of their parental relationships with their children. Whether through adoption or some form of collaborative reproduction, we’re here to help you build your family and insure your family is secure.
Same sex couples often rely on some form of collaborative reproduction to conceive a child. In these cases, the non-genetically related/non gestating intimate partner or spouse can only reliably secure his or her legal relationship to their child through a court Order of Adoption or Order of Parentage.
While same sex marriages are legally recognized in both New York and New Jersey, and both parents of a child born in one of those states during the marriage will be recognized as the legal parent and named on the child’s birth certificate, that is not the case throughout the country. As a result, even where the non-genetic/non-gestating parent is already named on the child’s birth certificate, the relationship between that parent and the child is vulnerable to challenge in a state with a public policy opposed to same sex marriage. Same sex married couples are strongly encouraged to undertake Step Parent adoption proceedings to secure both parents legal relationship to their child. Where the couple is not married, a Second Parent Adoption proceeding is the only way for the non-genetic/non-gestating parent to be named on the child’s birth certificate and to be recognized as a legal parent of the child.
Even outside of the context of collaborative reproduction, same sex couples adopting a child born in a state which does not permit same sex adoption, may be required to undergo a second or step parent adoption in order for both to be recognized as the legal parents of the child.