Members of the LGBT community now have more options than ever before to build their families. While surrogacy and adoption processes are typically no different for same-sex couples than for any other hopeful parents, there are some unique considerations to take into account.
Here, learn more about same-sex adoption and surrogacy in Georgia and North Carolina.
How does adoption work for LGBT parents?
The lawyers of Claiborne|Fox|Bradley rejoiced with our LGBT friends when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that “same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States.” Claiborne|Fox|Bradley has always been a strong supporter of Georgia Equality and Lambda Legal in their efforts to legalize gay marriage in Georgia.
Now, adoption for gay couples and individuals is more widely available; a gay man who marries a man with a child may adopt his husband’s child as a stepparent, and a woman whose wife gives birth to a child may also complete a stepparent adoption. There are now more married same-sex couples adopting jointly as well; these couples no longer need to complete the two-step process of first parent adoption and second parent adoption.
However, the battle for legal recognition of families with same-gender parents is not over, and the gay adoption debate continues. It is important to remember that while Obergefell v. Hodges addressed marriage, it did not address parentage; while gay marriage and adoption are related, these are still separate issues. Unfortunately, we still do not have clear gay adoption laws establishing the parental rights of non-biological parents.
For now, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley sadly agrees with the caution urged by the National Center for Lesbian Rights that even though married persons should be presumed under law to be the legal parents of a child born into the marriage, non-biological and non-adoptive parents should seek an adoption or parentage judgment, even if you are named on your child’s birth certificate.
Founding partner of Claiborne|Fox|Bradley, Ruth Claiborne, was among the first lawyers in Georgia to finalize co-parent adoptions between same-sex couples. Since then, our attorneys have successfully finalized more than 450 LGBT adoptions. If you are seeking to secure a family through gay and lesbian adoption, we are the most experienced lawyers for you.
How does assisted reproductive technology work for LGBT parents?
Claiborne|Fox|Bradley regularly represents LGBT individuals and couples who seek to use assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as sperm or egg donation, in vitro fertilization or surrogacy.
Gay men may utilize egg donation and gestational surrogacy to have children. Lesbian couples may choose to have one woman’s egg fertilized with donor sperm in vitro, with the resulting embryo transferred into the other woman’s uterus for gestation. These special families need well-drafted contractual agreements and court orders confirming parentage to secure the rights and obligations of all family members.
If you and your partner are looking to start a family using assisted reproduction, we can provide the legal advice and services you need. Claiborne|Fox|Bradley works with a network of healthcare providers, including egg and sperm banks, to provide you with a referral to the right professionals.
Please read the following to learn more about our legal gestational surrogacy and egg, sperm and embryo donation services.
Every family’s circumstances are unique, and that is especially true for lesbian and gay couples adopting or pursuing ART. Whether you are interested in same-sex couple adoption, stepparent adoption, surrogacy or other family-building methods, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley will provide the guidance and services you need to successfully achieve your dreams of parenthood. To learn more about our services or to begin your family-building journey, contact us today to schedule a consultation.