Families headed by same sex parents are more visible today than ever especially given the Suprme Court’s recent decision permitting same sex marriage nationwide. Despite same sex marriage becoming legal in New Jersey and throughout the nation, there are still certain legal issues that same sex parents face regarding their children.
These legal issues are largely related to the child’s parentage. If both parents are not the child’s legal parents, the non-biological parent can face problems when seeking custody or visitation after a divorce. He or she may also face problems adding the child to his or her insurance policy if he or she is not the child’s legal parent.
In New Jersey, same sex parents may jointly apply to adopt children privately and through adoption agencies. They may also foster children through the New Jersey Foster Care system.
When a married couple has a child, both parents may sign the birth certificate to establish themselves as the child’s legal parents. This includes lesbian and gay male couples who use gametes from a donor to conceive their child. However, this is not necessarily the case in every state. To avoid losing one’s parental rights in an interstate move, same sex parents are urged to complete second parent adoptions. A second parent adoption is similar to a stepparent adoption, where the non-biological parent establishes him or herself as the child’s legal mother or father through a court petition.
For further information about the legal aspects of parenthood and how to protect your parental rights, contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at (732) 365-3299 today to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm. We can answer any questions you have about child support, child custody, legal parentage, adoption, and other family and divorce-related topics. Contact us today to begin working with our firm. We proudly serve parents and families throughout Ocean, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Burlington counties.