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What Are the Options for Adoption for LGBTQ Couples?

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milwaukee adoption lawyerBy: Attorney Megan Drury

Same-sex couples and those who are in the LGBTQ community have the same rights as opposite-sex couples. These include the right to get married, to end a marriage through divorce, or to grow their family by having children. In many cases, these couples will look to adopt children, and when planning to do so, they will need to understand their options and the procedures that will need to be followed.

Types of Adoption for Same-Sex Couples

The adoption process allows someone other than a biological parent to become a child’s legal parent. Same-sex spouses and other LGBTQ families may have multiple options for adopting a child, including:

  • Public adoption - There are a large number of children in Wisconsin’s foster care system who need stable homes where they can grow up in a safe, loving environment. Same-sex couples may receive training to become certified as foster parents, and after welcoming a child into their home, they may take steps to become the child’s legal parents. These types of adoptions will generally be possible if a child cannot be reunited with their birth parents, and before a child can be adopted, the parental rights of the biological parents will need to be terminated. The assistance of an attorney during this process can be crucial, and same-sex parents can take steps to address any complications that may affect their ability to complete an adoption while also making sure the rights and interests of the child will be protected.

  • Private adoption - When adopting a child as an infant, parents will usually work with an adoption agency, although they may also be able to work directly with a child’s birth mother during her pregnancy. As with other types of adoptions, parents will need to complete a home study and pre-adoptive training. Adoptive parents can also determine whether they will have an open adoption in which their child will maintain contact with one or both birth parents or a closed adoption in which the child and birth parents will not know each other’s identities.

  • International adoption - For many LGBTQ couples, the best option is to adopt a child from another country. However, the process of doing so can be complicated, since parents will need to make travel arrangements and address issues related to immigration and citizenship for their adoptive child. Parents will also need to meet certain requirements that can vary depending on the laws of the country where the child was born.

  • Step-parent adoption - In cases where one same-sex partner is a child’s biological parent, the other partner may be able to formally adopt the child, which will ensure that they can maintain a relationship with the child and that the child will receive the necessary financial support. In these cases, the parental rights of the child’s other biological parent will need to be terminated, and this may be done voluntarily, or a parent may request for the involuntary termination of the rights of a parent who has not been involved in a child’s life.

Contact Our Milwaukee Same-Sex Adoption Attorneys

If you are in a same-sex or LGBTQ relationship and are considering adopting a child, Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you understand the requirements you will need to meet, and we can provide you with legal representation during the process. We will work closely with you to address and resolve any issues that you may encounter and ensure that your family will have the resources you need for success. Contact our Milwaukee, WI LGBTQ adoption lawyers at 414-271-1440 to set up a free consultation today.




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