Stepparent adoption is when the spouse of a child’s biological parent adopts him in court, without eliminating the parental rights of the biological parent. Such an adoption gives the stepparent the same legal rights as the biological parent. She will be able to make medical decisions, sign documents for the child, and would even be entitled to equal custody, should the relationship end.
In a stepparent adoption, the adoptive family does not need to pay for a home study. The process is relatively simple, and provides children with the protection of two adults with legal authority.
Second parent adoption occurs when an unmarried partner of the child’s biological parent adopts him. As with a stepparent adoption, the second parent will be able to make medical decisions, sign documents for the child, and would even be entitled to equal custody, should the relationship end. Since the national recognition of marriage equality, second parent adoptions are rare.
A second parent adoption requires a home study and additional paperwork that is not required when the biological parent and adoptive parent are married.
In September of 2010, Florida became the last state to declare its ban on homosexual adoptions unconstitutional. Same sex couples now enjoy the same rights to stepparent adoptions and second parent adoptions as to heterosexual couples. This firm proudly supports the legal rights of all singles and couples, regardless of sexual orientation, to parent their children.