To Adopt or Not To Adopt: That Is The Question

by Dr. Snunit Ben-Ozer

My partner and I (we’re a lesbian couple) are getting married soon. We have one child together, from her pregnancy from before we met. We raised our son together since he was very small. Some of our friends say I should adopt our child despite getting married. What do you think?

Signed, A.G. and T.C., Iowa

I recently spoke with a couple of attorneys versed in reproductive and family law to review their current recommendations. One attorney was from California and the other from the East Coast. Both concur that the safest option is for the non-delivering parent to officially adopt the child or children. Because different states may not recognize a domestic partnership/marriage in the same way these are recognized in California or Massachusetts problems may arise.

For example, in the event of a separation of the parenting partners, a move to another state, or even if the child suffers an accident out of state, parenting rights and medical directives from the non-delivering partner may not be accepted. I advise my patients to officially adopt and play it safe.

As always, this advice does not replace the professional advice of an attorney with knowledge in these issues. I strongly encourage you to follow up with such a professional. Your family is worth it!

Information published on The Rainbow Babies website is not a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Disclaimer: The Rainbow Babies provides sample contracts and legal/social health articles for informational purposes only—please do not consider it as legally-binding advice of any kind.