Mothers have the gift of creating and giving birth to new life. Their patience, wisdom and nurturing hearts are unfathomably strong. Also, their sense of protection is enormous when it comes to their children. When a woman has the calling and desire to be a mother, nothing can stop her. A lesbian couple seeking to adopt is no exception.
Even though it’s now legal in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia for LGBT adoptions, issues continue to manifest hurdles and obstacles for lesbian couples to traverse through. Stigmas and discrimination also, unfortunately, still exist. Following are some tips to help ensure a smoother path through your adoption process.
Know Your State Laws
As with all adoptions, state laws and regulations will vary depending on where you live. For same sex couples specifically, it’s important to be aware of any special rules that pertain to your custody and parental rights. Be sure to research everything you can in your state, and consult your adoption agency or lawyer with any questions or concerns.
Back in December, we addressed Nevada’s state laws regarding same sex adoption. You can check out that article here.
Research Your Options
An interesting aspect of lesbian adoption is that if one woman has a child, the other woman is still required to adopt him or her to gain legal parental rights. This can happen through second parent adoption. If you live in a state that doesn’t permit this form of adoption, a co-parenting or custody agreement can be made between you and your partner. In Nevada, if the couple is either married or in a registered Domestic Partnership, they can adopt as a couple.
Second parent adoptions can also be required outside of genetics. In other words, if a lesbian couple is seeking to adopt a child domestically, one may have to adopt him or her first as a single parent. After this, the second parent can petition to adopt the child to have equal rights and legal status.
Part of the adoption process is being matched with a birth mother, who then decides whether or not she agrees to the adoption and it her right to choose the family who will adopt her child. Having so much hinging on her choosing you can be stressful and overwhelming, but remember to be patient. Even if it takes a while to find a birth mother who is comfortable adopting to you, it’s ok.
Keep in mind that you want the right birth mother to select you. That you want the best fit for your family, and for your birth mother. To better understand her as a fellow mother, use your motherly instincts. As most domestic adoptions are typically open, the birth mother would be sent regular updates on how the child is doing and have a relationship with you and your partner or spouse as well. So, having a birth mother select you and establish a good connection with you is the best outcome possible.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Make an Impact
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2018, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Gay Adoption.” Creating a Family, creatingafamily.org/adoption/resources/adoption-and-the-glbt-community/.
Human Rights Campaign. “Second Parent Adoption.” Human Rights Campaign, www.hrc.org/resources/second-parent-adoption.
Witt, Nicole. “Adopting a Baby as a Same-Sex Couple Shouldn’t Be Difficult; Here Are Some Tips to Make the Process Easier.” SheKnows, 10 July 2018, www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1088726/adoption-tips-for-same-sex-parents/.