Saturday, November 19, 2016
The recent election has many in the LGBTQ community concerned about the rights of parents in same-sex marriages. There is no case on the issue currently pending before the Supreme Court, and the President-Elect has not said he wishes to see the Court overturn Obergefell v. Hodges. However, it is wise–as is having a Will and a Power of Attorney–for married same-sex couples to have the non-biological parent adopt any children of the marriage. Marriage between same-sex partners does not automatically grant the non-biological parent any parental, custody, visitation or other legal rights related to the spouse’s child(ren). Even a joint legal custody order—though better than nothing—does not convey upon the child or parent the same legal benefits as an adoption. No couple wants to worry that a court case may change their rights to parent their child. In Virginia, the spouse of a biological parent can adopt that child through a process which typically doesn’t require appointment of Guardian Ad Litem or even a court hearing. If you would like to find out more about same-sex adoption or other issues, please contact us to set up a consultation.