Co-Parent Adoptions

Stepparent Adoption

Can I adopt my same-sex spouse’s biological or legal child? Yes. Under North Carolina law you are now permitted to adopt your spouse’s biological/legal child.

Since North Carolina is now required to recognize same-sex marriages, same-sex married couples are now able to adopt their spouse’s biological or adopted child without terminating the first spouse’s legal status as a parent. This type of adoption is much like the second parent adoptions that used to be available to same-sex couples in North Carolina, however, it is limited only to those who are legally married.

The procedure for same-sex stepparent adoption is the same as the procedure for opposite sex married stepparent adoption with a few potential complications. Most frequently we find that same-sex married couples have had children one of three ways: through donor insemination (known or anonymous donor), adoption or surrogacy. In these circumstances there may be an interest of a third party (donor, prior parent or surrogate) whose legal rights must be severed as part of a stepparent adoption or in order for a stepparent adoption to be finalized. The circumstances by which you created your family will dictate how we need to proceed in order to help you process your adoption. Every family is different and the strategy we will employ to help each family differs. Call NicholsonPham for a consultation.

Joint Adoption

Same-sex married couples in North Carolina may now jointly adopt a child who is not biologically related to either party through independent adoption, agency adoption or as foster to adopt. North Carolina law requires that married couples jointly petition to adopt a child who is not biologically related to either spouse or not an adoptive child of one spouse unless the court waives the requirement. You must jointly petition to adopt if you are legally married in any state, unless you have a compelling reason not to and are able to convince a court of that reason.

My spouse adopted our child prior to North Carolina recognizing same-sex marriage and we did not petition to adopt our child together, can I adopt my child now? You may adopt your child if you are married to the legal parent through the stepparent adoption process. Call NicholsonPham for a consultation.