As an LGBT parent, you know that state and federal laws have not always been in your favor, to put it mildly. At the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, we know that, while the changes that marriage equality has brought have been welcome, they can also be confusing. It is important to clear up any legal uncertainty regarding your parental rights as soon as possible.
In the past, Florida law restricted the ability of LGBT individuals and same-sex couples to adopt children. As a result, in many cases, only one parent’s name appears on the birth certificate. If yours is the name left off the birth certificate, you may be only a stepparent in the eyes of the law, even if you and your spouse or partner have adopted and are raising the child together.
Ensuring parental rights
Fortunately, now that the law has changed, you and your spouse or partner can take the step to ensure your parental rights by filing a joint petition for stepparent adoption. According to Parents Magazine, stepparent adoption is the most common type to take place in the United States. For LGBT couples, there is often no need to obtain the consent of birth parents because the biological parents have already terminated their parental rights. This can help to streamline the process.
Verifying legal relationship
It is important to verify your legal relationship with your child and take steps to ensure it. Otherwise, your parental rights could be in doubt. For example, in the event of a medical emergency, hospital personnel may not recognize your right to make decisions related to your child’s care. More information about LGBT second parent rights is available on our website.