Adoption for the LGBT Family

At Smith & Horwitz, one of our specialties throughout our services as family lawyers involves taking care of the complicated adoption proceedings for same-sex couples seeking to grow their family. With this summer’s landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, married gay and lesbian couples can now enjoy the same adoption privileges enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. For years, Pennsylvania had provided numerous opportunities for same-sex couples looking to adopt, and we have been on the forefront of providing legal counsel during this process. Here’s some of what you need to know about adoption as a non-traditional couple.
For non-married LGBT couples, there are some additional options to adoption. If one partner has biological children of their own, or legally adopted children that they are parenting alone, the other partner may file for a second parent adoption—which is essentially a step parent adoption. You can file to adopt a child jointly, or through the route of one parent adopting the child first and the other later down the line. Depending on your specific situation, the way in which you choose to go about the adoption proceedings will have a significant impact on the length of time and costs involved in completing the adoption.
In the event that one parent has legally adopted a child and their partner has not, there are additional considerations to think about in terms of child support obligations, who will be the child’s guardian, questions of inheritance, and additional family legal matters in which we at Smith & Horwitz are also qualified to give counsel upon. With the ever changing legal dynamics in terms of same-sex adoptions and the relatively new passing of marriage equality this summer, there are sure to be a number of bumps along the road in terms of the legal restrictions regarding adoption.
When you’re thinking about adding to your family with a child, or extending the full rights and responsibilities of parenthood to your partner for a child whom you are already legally parenting, there are so many factors to consider. With such an important life step, you want to make sure you have an experienced team of attorneys on your side to make sure that this exciting time goes smoothly for everyone involved.  We are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive counsel every step of the way, from compiling documentation to representing you during adoption hearings.
With over 35 years of experience in family law and adoption proceedings, we at Smith & Horwitz are confident that we can be the support you need in the often lengthy adoption process. For a free consultation about your case and how we can work with you to ensure your family’s success, give us a call today at 215-545-2880. We know how important this choice is for you, and are excited to be on your side every step of the way. When it comes to your family’s legal security, there’s no one you can trust more than Smith & Horwitz.

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