Legal Guidance For Same-Sex Married Couples Who Want To Have Children

Children are precious, no matter how they come into your family. The arrival may be through artificial insemination or adoption. Or it may be through bringing into your same-sex marriage a child you already had. Regardless of the circumstances, you will love the child just the same.

Legally, however, it is important to make sure you follow the right procedures to protect your rights to your children and their rights to have you in their lives. You don't want to get tripped up by legal hoops when creating a solid foundation for your family's life.

At the law firm of Robertson, Oswalt & Associates, our lawyers will help you secure your relationships according to Arkansas law. From our offices in Little Rock, Benton, Conway and Heber Springs, our legal team serves clients throughout the state. We invite you to give us a call today for assistance.

Arkansas Allows Married Same-Sex Couples' Names On Birth Certificates

In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed married same-sex couples to put both of their names on their children's birth certificates without the need for a court order. This decision reversed the law in Arkansas, which previously allowed only the biological parent's name on the birth certificate.

Same-sex couples now enjoy the same rights that opposite couples have; that of having both spouses names on a child's birth certificate regardless of their biological contributions to the pregnancy.

What Do You Need To Do For A Valid Stepparent Adoption?

In some situations, adoption must be pursued. In these cases, it is important to be aware of the difference in the law between contested adoptions and uncontested adoptions. The distinction between the two types can make a big difference for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

In most cases when stepparents adopt, the adoption will be uncontested. In cases of artificial insemination, the biological father may be a sperm donor who makes no claims on a parental role. In other cases, the biological parent may no longer be involved in the child's life.

In some cases, however, a stepparent adoption may be contested. That is why it is so critical to get skilled legal counsel to guide you forward. You don't want to end up losing the child because you didn't follow the law such as by failing to get consent to the adoption from a biological parent.

Protecting The Rights Of Stepparents

Although state law now allows both same-sex spouses to place their names on birth certificates, you will need to have your child's birth certificate amended. Alternatively, the best way to ensure that you as the nonbiological parent will remain a parent, regardless of whether the marriage lasts, is to adopt your stepchildren, now.

Your spouse should be willing to allow you to legalize the parent-child relationship. If he or she is not willing to do so, this may indicate a problem. Either way, you have options, and you need legal guidance.

Get Help From A Skilled Family Law Attorney

Getting trusted legal counsel is especially vital given how much the law on same-sex marriage and adoption has changed since 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide and when it allowed married same-sex couples equal rights regarding birth certificates.

Our attorneys are skilled at helping same-sex families navigate the birth certificate amendment and adoption processes in Arkansas, and we are passionate about making this process work so that families can extend their love and commitment to their newest members.

When you need experienced legal guidance regarding same-sex marriage family planning, schedule a consultation with a lawyer at Robertson, Oswalt & Associates by calling us at 501-588-4451 or 866-311-3815 toll free. You can also reach us through our online form.