LGBTI couples are experiencing a long-awaited expansion of their civil rights. After years of struggle, the federal courts have finally acknowledged same-sex marriage. This has given rise to increasing numbers of LGBTI couples marrying, as well as couples eventually divorcing. It has also paved the way for a higher number of LGBTI couples adopting children.
Even in very conservative states, like Georgia, same-sex couples now have more rights to grow their family through adoption. Of course, just because the job option is possible doesn't mean that it's easy. You and your spouse will have a significant amount of work and likely substantial expenses ahead of you before you finalize adoption paperwork.
However, all of that effort will certainly be worth it when you add a child to your family to love. That makes handling each step properly all the more important.
There are many different kinds of adoption possible
Couples looking to adopt, including same-sex couples, often had to choose one partner to adopt while the other partner didn't have legal rights as a parent. Now that the courts recognize same-sex marriage, both spouses can adopt without extra paperwork or problems.
There are many different forms of adoption, including international adoption. Couples can travel to adopt children who need homes in other countries. Other couples will choose to adopt right here in Georgia or in a nearby state.
Domestic adoptions can sometimes take a little longer than international adoptions, as there is substantial demand for adoptive placement. In some cases, couples work with an expectant mother to secure an adoption agreement during the pregnancy. It is also possible to work toward adoption by starting out as foster parents for kids who don't have a loving, supportive family.
Having both parents adopt is critical for overall stability
No matter how devoted you are to your spouse, you still want to protect your relationship with the child who will soon join your family. It is unfortunate that some LGBTI couples divorce, but you should plan to protect yourself for that eventuality.
However solid the relationship seems now, you don't want to make a mistake that could impact your happiness for the rest of your life. Having both of you sign all necessary legal adoption paperwork is an important step. If only one of you legally adopts the child, that could cause serious issues during a divorce in the future.
By ensuring that both spouses have legal parenting rights per the adoption agreement, you also ensure that both parents will have a right to custody and visitation in the event that the marriage ends.
Adoption is confusing, and same-sex marital rights are still a developing area of law. Conferring with a lawyer who understands LGBTI couples, their rights and the adoption process in Georgia is a good way to start exploring the expansion of your family.