Gay married couples who have children may run into a snag when it comes to the legalities of parentage. A married same-sex spouse of a nonbiological child in Louisiana may need to look into second parent adoption under family law in order to have any legal say in his or her child’s life. In other words, when the child biologically belongs to one of the spouses, but not the other, in order to safeguard parental rights of the nonbiological parent, formal adoption may be necessary.
Same-sex couples who are in this situation may believe the one parent is automatically afforded parental rights since he or she is married to the biological parent. But that is a murky area in most states. The only way to be absolutely sure of having those rights is to go through a second parent adoption process.
Sometimes referred to a co-parent adoption, the process will ensure that the parent who is not genetically related to the child will have a say in the child’s life, including the ability to make medical decisions for the child. Second parent adoption does not nullify the biological parent’s rights. It gives a nonbiological parent the same rights as the biological parent.
For Louisiana same-sex couples thinking about parenthood, a family law lawyer may be able to help to clear up the possible confusion surrounding second parent adoption. Both parents will want to ensure they are legally responsible for their children. Same-sex couples who are thinking about having children may want to discuss their legal options first.