Second parent adoptions are an exciting new way to protect couples and their children. There are many benefits to completing a second parent adoption. For example, when only one member of a same-sex couple is the legal parent for a child, that person carries all of the rights and responsibility for the child. In the absence of a second parent adoption, the first parent can not be assured that the other parent will support their child under any circumstances. If the couple separates, a second parent adoption can ensure that both parents continue to provide for their child. Without a second parent adoption, if the legal parent dies, the other parent is not guaranteed the right to raise the child even if the child has never known another parent.
Second parent adoption provides the second parent with the same rights and responsibilities toward the child that the first parent has. This provides security for the second parent and the child as well, because if the parents separate, both parents will have rights to make decisions for the child and to have a continuing relationship with the child. Second parent adoption provides security for the child as well, making him or her entitled to support even after separation. There is no other way in Florida to accomplish these goals aside from completing a second-parent adoption. A domestic partnership between a same-sex couple raising children does not provide any rights with regard to any children they may be raising. Furthermore, a guardianship also does not give the non-biological parent complete authority to make important decisions about the child's life. Once an adoption takes place, both partners' names will be on the child's new birth certificate.
Second parent adoption is widely used by families where one party adopts individually and then marries. Just as with stepparent adoption, it is necessary to get permission from a standing legal or biological parent. If there is only one legal parent because an individual originally adopted on his or her own, it will not be necessary to get consent from a biological parent.
While there are costs involved in obtaining a second-parent adoption, it is important to note that families may be entitled to take advantage of a federal adoption tax credit to cover the cost of the process. The entire process usually only takes between two and three months but will provide endless peace of mind to your family.