Friday Family Facts: Same Sex Adoption Now Legal in All 50 States & D.C.
In 2006, adoption by gay couples was illegal in Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Utah. As of March 2016, Mississippi was the lone holdout. The one-sentence law put it quite simply: “Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited.” The law and it's prohibition on same sex adoption was declared unconstitutional earlier this year.
In North Carolina, same sex adoption is perfectly legal. In October 2014, the U.S. District Court nullified the State’s prohibition on same sex marriage as unconstitutional. Thus, because same sex marriages are valid, same sex parents are able to legally adopt their children. That means a same sex married couple can adopt a child together; or a gay spouse can adopt his/her partner’s child (provided the child’s other parent, if any, consents or has had parental rights terminated) the same as a straight married couple can. Gay or straight, unmarried partners still cannot adopt their partner’s biological or adopted child (a practice referred to as “second parent adoption”).
At Hinson Family Law, we believe the law is meant to protect everyone, especially children, equally. That is why I handle family-related legal issues every day. If you have any questions about adoption, gay or straight marriage or divorce or anything else related to your family, please contact me to set up a consultation.