What to do if a Second-parent adoption is unavailable
Not all states allow second-parent adoptions.
If second-parent adoption is unavailable where you live, you should prepare a written co-parenting agreement or a custody agreement with your partner.
It is important to recognize that these steps are not guaranteed to secure your parental rights because courts are not required to uphold such agreements. However, it is still recommended that you complete such agreements so that they may be used to demonstrate your intention to the court if ever needed.
Custody agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in that they outline ahead of time how you agree to conduct yourself during your relationship and how to behave in the event of a break-up. Alternatively, some couples manage to develop such agreements after deciding to separate, especially if their separation is an amicable one. In either event, preparing a custody agreement with your partner can provide a non-legal parent with a much greater degree of control in the event of a separation.
Because family law varies from state to state, it is recommended that you consult an attorney familiar with these issues in your state for help drawing up such documents.
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Meryl was fantastic to work with. She provided me with the opportunity to fulfill my dream of having a family. As a gay man, many doors have closed, including international adoption. Art Parenting worked with me patiently through evolving circumstances and matched me with an ideal gestational carrier. The process could not have been smoother and I could not be happier with the results. I have two beautiful twin babies and the situation was so positive that the gestational carrier and I have chosen to be in lifelong touch with each other.
*Although "Gestational Surrogates" are also commonly referred to as "Gestational Carriers" (and less accurately as "Surrogate Mothers"), we use the term "Gestational Surrogate" in this website.
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