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Woman denied same-sex partner adoption of legal son

In the majority of circumstances, the arrival of a new baby is longed-for, sought after and happily anticipated. The extreme joy that most parents experience at the arrival of their brand new bundle of joy is often difficult for those who do not have children to fully understand. However, some of that joy is dampened for same-sex partners. While couples in Massachusetts may have a somewhat easier time because their marriages is recognized by the state, compared to same-sex couples where same-sex marriage is banned, they may encounter complications if they leave the state. One couple in a nearby state wants to reduce some of these potential complications by seeking a same-sex partner adoption even though the non-biological parent is recognized as a legal parent in their current state.

The couple welcomed a son together in 2013. One of the parents is the child’s biological mother. Because the women’s marriage is recognized in their state, the non-biological mother is legally recognized as the boy’s parent.

If the couple remain in their state, or only states that legally recognize same-sex marriage, the couple will likely not experience legal difficulties related to their marriage or son. However, if the family are in a state that does not legally recognize their marriage and they are in an accident that incapacitates the son and biological mother, the non-biological mother may not be allowed to make medical decisions for her son or her partner. As a result, the woman sought to adopt her son. A state judge has recently denied her request to adopt her son, stating that the law already legally recognizes her as the boy’s parent.

Great strides have been made in recent years toward securing equal rights for same-sex couples. While more and more states seem to be on track to legalize same-sex marriage, it could be years before all states fully recognize everyone’s right to marry. As a result, some parents have decided that even though the state of Massachusetts recognizes them as a legal parent, seeking a same-sex partner adoption may still be necessary to ensure their parental rights in neighboring states.

Source: uptownmagazine.com, Lesbian Mom Not Allowed To Adopt Her Own Son, Angela Wilson, Jan. 30, 2014

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