Legal Obstacles to Same-Sex Adoption

For years being in a same-sex relationship had numerous obstacles. You had to constantly deal with harassment and discrimination, and in some places, you weren’t even legally allowed to get married. Although public perception has softened towards the LGBTQ community, and several laws have been enacted to protect and secure the rights of those in same-sex relationships, obstacles still exist. Some of these obstacles are social, while others are legal. One area that has many legal obstacles for same-sex couples is adoption. There are still many obstacles getting in the way of same-sex adoption, hurdles that you and your partner will have to navigate through. So what are the legal obstacles to same-sex adoption, and how can you deal with them? Let’s take a look.

Dealing With Private Organizations

The biggest thing you’ll have to worry about when it comes to adopting as a same-sex couple is dealing with private organizations. While recent laws and court cases have determined that the government can’t discriminate against same-sex couples, it says little about private institutions. As a result, some private adoption agencies may refuse to work with you and your partner. Some states have extra legal protections in place to prevent something like this happening, but sometimes there is little you can do. Adopting from a private agency can be next to impossible as a same-sex couple in some states, so you might want to steer clear of them and work with government agencies.


Another potential legal obstacle that you’ll have to deal with as a same-sex couple is the issue of marriage. When trying to adopt a child in a heterosexual relationship, the process usually comes along much smoother. As a heterosexual, you likely can adopt regardless of whether you or your partner are married or not. However, that may not be the same case for a same-sex couple. The absence of marriage in a same-sex couple can cause some problems in the adoption process, making securing an adoption slightly more difficult. If you’re in a same-sex relationship and looking to adopt, then the entire process may be easier if you get married.

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Second Parents’ Rights

Perhaps one of the trickiest parts of same-sex adoption is the issue of parental rights and second parents. Usually, when a heterosexual couple adopts a child, both people are assumed to be parents. However, that isn’t always the case with same-sex couples. As a member of a same-sex couple, you may have to go through extra steps to confirm yourself as a second parent for the child. Doing so is extremely important, as it could save some major headaches down the line. If divorce or separation were ever to happen in the same-sex couple, then visitation and custody rights can be up in the air. Without confirmation as the second parent, the issue of custody can be an extremely difficult one to solve as a same-sex couple. As a result, its important that you take all of the necessary legal steps to confirm both members of the same-sex couple as legal parents for the child, helping to ensure that both parents have parental rights in the case of divorce or separation.

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