A Minnesota Adoption Attorney Discusses the Need to Legalize Your Relationship With Your Child
With the looming inevitability of a Trump presidency, I’ve been getting a lot of questions (panicked calls) on how the changing administration may affect LGBT clients. This is the second in a series of posts to cover the legal challenges ahead that I foresee and ways to be proactive in addressing them. First up. Adoption.
A common scenario
Ellen and Portia are married and decide to have a baby. They both want Portia to carry the child. Portia has a healthy baby boy named Elton and they put both their names on the birth certificate. Is that enough? Sure. Ellen’s name is on the birth certificate as that parent, so they’re done right? Not so fast.
Under Minnesota (and many other states), simply being listed on a birth certificate (even if married) does NOT establish a legal relationship between Ellen and Elton. The only way to ensure that Ellen’s parental relationship to Elton is legal recognized is for her to formally adopt Elton.
A main concern here is not so much whether Minnesota will recognize that relationship as we do have some laws that offer Ellen protection and are mostly a progressive state. But, what if Ellen travels with Elton alone? Will another state recognize her as the legal parent? What if they move to Florida and something happens to Portia? Ellen runs the risk – however small- that Elton could be taken from her in a non-supportive jurisdiction. And, based on this election, there are a lot of non-supportive jurisdictions in this country.
But, another state (even Florida) must recognize a valid court order from a Minnesota court. So, while they can reject the birth certificate naming Ellen or, if the Supreme Court overturns gay marriage, Portia and Ellen’s marriage, a U.S. court CANNOT reject a valid court order from another state!
A stepparent adoption is a relatively simple, straight-forward process in Minnesota with the right guidance. Unique Estate Law is knowledgeable and experienced in handling these matters and will be at your side with understanding and advice.
To fully understand how strongly I believe you need to adopt that child just know that I legally married my wife in 2013 and our son was born in 2014. I adopted him the same as I adopted our daughter who was born in 2007 long before our marriage was legal. So, I definitely put my money where my mouth is on this issue.
Contact us now to start the process of securing your legal relationship with your child! It’s the most important thing you can do to proactively protect yourself!