o Second-parent adoption is a legal process that allows a same-sex partner to legally adopt his or her partner's biological child without terminating the biological parent's parental status.
o Second-parent adoption in Oregon is a streamlined, less-expensive process.
o No home study is required.
o No notice is required.
o Second-parent adoption in Washington requires a home study and is treated in all respects the same as a standard adoption.
Who cannot use it?
o Lesbian couples who use a known donor in which there is no
Who can use second-parent adoption?
o Lesbian couples in which one partner is the biological mother of the child.
o Gay men who use a surrogate to carry the child created using the sperm of one of the partners.
o Lesbian or gay male couples in which one partner adopted the child while single.
o Lesbian or gay male couples in which one partner's former spouse/parent of the child has given up his or her parental rights.
Who cannot use it?
o Lesbian couples who use a known donor in which there is no agreement terminating the donor's parental rights. It's always best to get such an agreement in writing that covers all the legal aspects of terminating the donor's rights.
o Where the child already has two legal parents (i.e., ex-husband, ex-partner who is an adoptive parent).
Who needs it?
o Non-biological mom or dad
o Without legal adoption, the non-biological parent has no legal rights to the child at birth.
o A non-biological parent can gain visitation rights with time and involvement in the upbringing of the child, but there is no guarantee she or he will be given parental rights.
o Without an adoption, a non-biological mom may not be permitted to make important decisions about the child.
o Biological mom
o If something happens to the biological parent (e.g., death or disability), his or her partner may not be permitted to raise the child.
o If the biological parent is unavailable to make a decision, the non-biological parent may be prevented from making even the most ordinary decisions about the child.
o Guardianship is no guarantee.
o Many benefits are dependant on having a legal parent-child relationship
o Worker's compensation benefits
o Social security benefits
o Employer-provided health insurance
o Parental leave
o Hospital visitation
o Child support
o Decide where to give birth.
o Some counties are more gay-friendly, and cause less hassle.
Won't Registering as Domestic Partners eliminate the need for adoption?
o No. Although the state will place both names on the original birth certificate, that is not a guarantee that the parentage of the non-biological parent will be recognized.
o The parentage can be challenged.
o Other states may not recognize parentage.
o The federal government may not recognize parentage.
What does it cost?
o The cost for the adoption ranges from about $1,200 to $2,500, depending on law firm selected and services provided.
o The cost of not adopting is inestimable.
o Loss of de facto parentage upon death or disability of biological parent or dissolution of relationship.
o Expensive legal battles to prove "psychological parent" in order to obtain visitation with child.
When should we start the process?
o As soon as the fetus is viable so that a pre-birth guardianship can be drafted and ex
o If no pre-birth guardianship is desired, in sufficient time to ensure the documents are ready at birth.
o An FBI background check is now required, so we recommend beginning that process right away. The background check is good for one year.
How do we get started?
o Choose your attorney. Don't just cost shop. Make sure you are getting someone familiar with Oregon's laws that affect lesbian families.
o Call your selected attorney's office for an appointment.
o Be prepared to answer a lot of personal questions.
o As soon as the child is born, execute the petition and file the papers with the state.
Generally, the process takes 2-3 months once the petition for adoption is filed.
Will the birth certificate show both moms' or dads' names?
o MOMS Yes! If you are Registered Domestic Partners, both names will be on the original birth certificate. If not, don't worry, after the adoption is complete, a new birth certificate will be issued naming both mothers as parents (but keep your adoption paperwork handy any time you travel).
DADS. Men who plan to co-parent will need to adopt before both names appear on the birth certificate, regardless of Registration.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.