The Baby Bean Blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Starting the Second Parent Adoption Process

Yesterday my partner and I went to meet with a lawyer to start the second parent adoption process. For those who don't know what second parent adoption is, let me explain it to you. It's when a non-biological parent--usually married to a biological parent--adopts a child and becomes a co-parent along with the biological parent. Did that make sense? In case it didn't, here's the usual scenario. A woman with a child marries a man who is not the child's father. If the child's father is dead or his parental rights have been terminated, the new husband can adopt the child as his own (providing the mother agrees). So that's the traditional use of second parent adoption. Gay and lesbian people also use it in the situation that I am in. I am giving birth to my biological child. My partner will adopt the baby and then become a legally recognized parent of my child. And for that, you need a lawyer.

Now that I'm just about seven months pregnant, it seemed like time to get the ball rolling, so we met with a lawyer that I know from the good ole days when I used to work, and she worked in the same building. She specializes in gay and lesbian issues and has done a bunch of these adoptions.

We can't actually start the adoption itself until there is a child to adopt and a birth certificate. But we are able to start a few things. First of all, we need to have background criminal checks done, and we also need to have some sort of child abuse check done to see if anyone has ever complained about either of us abusing a child. We're going to fill out the forms and get that done now, before the baby is born.

I was surprised to find out that I also have to go through the process. I had assumed that only my partner was going to have to petition to adopt the baby, but apparently we both do. The lawyer explained it to us, but I'm still not sure I understand it. Apparently, it has something to do with having someone adopt a child without terminating the parental rights of the biological parent. So in essense, I am joining my partner's petition to adopt. Or something like that. The nitty gritty is that I have to fill out the forms as well.

I particularly like the child abuse form. We have to list every residence we've lived in since 1975. As if that wasn't bad enough, we have to list every household member we've lived with since 1975. What a frickin' hassle. I've actually got the info on the residences because I had to figure all that out for a job I had with the Delaware Department of Correction. But every person I've lived with? And their current ages? I have no idea. I lived with a guy (as a friend) for a year 10 years ago. I think I can remember how to spell his last name, but as to what age he is... I just don't know. He was around my age, but other than that, I'm clueless. I guess I'll figure it out somehow or another.

Anyway, we're starting the process. It will take about 4-6 months after the baby is born for the adoption to be finalized.

2 Comments:

  • Wow, this is really complicated. I had never realized how complicated it could get. You folks are really being put to the test. Little Bean ought to grow up feeling very loved. And when you think of it, Little Bean is an expensive l'il critter. Good luck, Oz... ~:^)

    By Blogger foxymama, at 4:00 PM, June 28, 2005  

  • Yes, this little one has been quite expensive. I'd say that by the time the little one is born, we will have spent about $6000 that a straight couple would not have spent. That includes the trips back and forth to California the first time I was trying to conceive. Then buying and shipping the sperm the second time around. Plus the second parent adoption. But I know lots and lots of women who have spent lots and lots more....

    By Blogger Oz, at 3:11 PM, June 29, 2005  

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