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In same sex relationship & going to have a child via AI. Do need to see a lawyer for full rights to child ?

Elkridge, MD |
Filed under: Family law

We live Maryland as a same sex female couple, not married yet and dont know if we need to see a lawyer to ensure we both have full custody of a child created from AI donation? The AI donor has agreed to waive his rights and we have a signed copy of this , we used a document we downloaded offline. Isl this document legal? What do we need to do to protect ourselves and our child? Is a lawyer necessary to see, we cant afford the expensive hourly rate they charge... but we would if we absolutely had too.

I am not clear except for the 2nd parent adoption why we need a lawyer, when we will have a signed contract by the donor waving his rights and written emails too. Its the cost of the lawyer which is hard for us, as we are trying to save our money for our child future and our family needs. Can you let know what specifically we would need a lawyer for and how this will truly help protect everyone in the end? Ultimately we dont want to pay a lot of money for a simple solution we can do ourselves.. Just need some clarity please...

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You need to do what is called a "second parent adoption"...this will allow your partner to have full parental rights of a child that is not biologically hers. You'll absolutely need a lawyer to navigate this process. I have represented clients in second parent adoptions, and I know other practitioners who frequently do second parent adoptions as well.

In addition, you may want to ensure you have things such as wills in place as well.

DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

I am not clear except for the 2nd parent adoption why we need a lawyer, when we will have a signed contract by the donor waving his rights and written emails too. Its the cost of the lawyer which is hard for us, as we are trying to save our money for our child future and our family needs. Can you let know what specifically we would need a lawyer for and how this will truly help protect everyone in the end? Ultimately we dont want to pay a lot of money for a simple solution we can do ourselves.. Just need some clarity please

Brandy Ann Peeples

Brandy Ann Peeples

Posted

To file the second parent adoption. Just because the donor gives up his legal rights does not mean that his giving up legal rights confers those same rights in your partner. Even naming her on the birth certificate does not make her -- in the eyes of the law -- the child's parent. In the eyes of the law, unless your partner and you go through the adoption process (you have to consent)...your partner will be considered a legal "stranger."

Asker

Posted

So to clarify we are covered in the eyes of the law as far as parental rights. if we have a clear donor waiver contract signed & notatarized... But we do need a lawyer for the 2nd parent adoption? Correct... to me it looks like we don't need it for the donor contract but for the adoption process which is understandable.... Please note the donor is known but only briefly and he does not want any parental rights to the child, which it says in our contract he signed...

Brandy Ann Peeples

Brandy Ann Peeples

Posted

To be safe, I'd have the donor contract reviewed as well. You want absolutely NO loopholes.

Posted

You absolutely should have a lawyer that specializes in this area. And there are only a few. We do not do this work, but I am glad to provide you with a referral?

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Posted

I would like to reiterate what my colleagues have said. You do need to do a 2nd Parent Adoption. Please don't put this off. This is more important for your family than any other financial need you may have. This is the only way the non-birth parent will have legal standing to assert her rights as a parent before various institutions such as Child Welfare, the School System, doctors and hospitals. Furthermore to secure your child's right to inherit from that parent you need the adoption. The term "legal stranger" is an important one and doesn't really convey the wide gulf that will exist as a matter of law between that parent and the child.

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