mother with adopted child looking at pink sunset

DIY Second Parent Adoption? What to know before getting started

What is Second Parent Adoption?

Second parent adoption is the process many unmarried same-sex couples utilize to adopt their partner’s child. Picture this example; Jennifer and Kate are two women in a serious long-term relationship. Jennifer and Kate have decided that they do not want to get married, however, they have decided that they want to have children together. The couple decides that Jennifer will carry the child. For both parties to be the child’s legal parents, the non-biological parent, Kate, must petition for custodial rights and the biological parent, Jennifer, must consent. 

Sharing joint rights over the child goes much further than gaining some legal recognition, to many parents it’s a greatly symbolic act. Now, while the process might be called ‘second parent’ adoption, we know that you are more than just a second. You’re thinking of this process because the bond you and your family share goes further than a categorization of what comes first or second.

We’re here to help your adoption process run smoothly. Although an adoption lawyer is not a legal requirement, we can’t say it will be straightforward, easy, or simple for you or your partner to do this on your own.

Does Georgia Allow Second Parent Adoption?

Some Courts in Georgia allow second-parent adoptions. Why might some couples consider second-parent adoption? Let’s look at another example. Georgia does not allow unmarried couples to have both their names on a child’s birth certificate. This applies to opposite-sex and same-sex parents. So, in Georgia, only the married parents of a child, or the biological parent(s) of a child appear on the certificate. Second-parent adoption can thus help a couple be legally recognized as equal legal guardians and parents over their child. 

There’s a reason our attorneys have been trusted by so many people in Georgia when it comes to family law matters. The legal system is complex to say the least. The adoption process, including second-parent adoption, can be long and it requires tons of paperwork. All of the following might be a part of the process: Physicals, home studies, interviews, court appearances, background checks, financial evaluations, and more. An adoption lawyer offers more than just a legal understanding, they can, and should, offer you peace of mind. 


Adoption help for LGBTQ+ Parents – The Edwards Law Group

Going through this whole process might seem like too much of a hassle, after all, you know better than anyone that in your eyes, your partner’s eyes, and your child’s eyes you are the parent. Your bond, your love, and your memories cannot be determined by some court decision. Yet, with all of this in mind, isn’t the hassle worth it? It’s a prudent and safe thing to do. God forbid a situation arises that puts your or your family in a tough spot. Maybe there’s a medical decision, life decision, or parenting decision you need to weigh in on, but that lack of ‘legal recognition’ holds you back. These are the things parents consider when they come to us for legal help. You can reach us at 770.723.7211 or by filling out a contact form