Legal Blog

Why should I get a Second Parent Adoption?

Black cubes with word ADOPTION, decorative figures and notepads on wooden backgroundWhile many states have followed suit in adding protections for same-sex marriages and families after the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, there are still many uncertainties when it comes to family formation in the LGBTQ+ community. For example, in a recent case out of Oklahoma, a judge ruled that a married, non-biological mother has no parental rights to the child she and her wife created and were raising together, but the couple’s sperm donor does. In this case, the judge relied on Oklahoma’s parentage laws under the Uniform Parentage Act, which predate same-sex marriage laws, meaning there was no presumption of parentage for the non-biological mom by virtue of the couple’s married status.

A Second Parent Adoption provides an added layer of protection for all families where there is an intended parent without a biological tie. In many states, we are backed by the marital presumption, but, as demonstrated in Oklahoma just this year, a presumption can be easily rebutted if given any weight at all. This is why many same-sex families pursue a Second Parent Adoption, which is a court judgment that is recognized and protected in all jurisdictions.

Having a skilled attorney who is versed in the Second Parent Adoption process will ensure that your family is protected regardless of the political climate of yesterday, today, or tomorrow.


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Summer Abel is an associate in the firm’s Family Law practice group. She focuses her practice on divorce, custody and visitation, spousal and child support, property division, and division of retirement benefits. Ms. Abel is an experienced litigator with a proven history of dedication to clients, serving as both an advocate and a counselor through all stages of litigation. Outside of the courtroom, Ms. Abel is also skilled in mediation and other collaborative law solutions to resolve complex family law issues.







Offit Kurman, a full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with offices throughout the East Coast and in Southern California, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. Founded in 1987, the firm’s 280+ attorneys counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice. Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration.