By Dan Marnen:

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and having same-sex couples as parents is just as much a family. Pennsylvania law allows same-sex couples to adopt a child regardless of their marital status. In some cases, the child in question is a biological offspring of one of the partners.  In these instances, the adoption is for the second parent to unite the family as a whole.

Adoptions provide protections and benefits to the adoptive parent as well as the child. Some protections for the child include stability in the household in the event something happens to the biological parent, eligibility for health insurance and life insurance protection under the non-biological parent, inheritance rights, and federal benefits rights in the event something happens to the parents.

The adoption also provides the child a more cohesive bond between the biological and the non-biological parent. Formal adoption papers may not be necessary to make a family, but the security of legal documentation definitely provides a certain level of comfort.

Some protections and benefits to the adoptive parent include continued interaction with the child in the event the relationship ends or if the other parent dies while the child is a minor. It also provides legal rights if child support, custody, or visitation issues arise in the future. In addition, they also receive the benefits of familial stability and the security knowing that legally the child is theirs.

Or perhaps you and your partner wish to have a child to join your loving family. Joint petition for adoption is another option to explore in the event neither partner is looking to biologically parent the child. Gay and lesbian couples may face additional challenges in the process simply because some still hold conflicting views on same-sex marriage and adoption, which makes it all the more important to have a respected, experienced family law attorney to assist you through the necessary steps.

The adoption process can be difficult to conduct on your own, especially when you are not sure about your rights as a non-biological parent. Contact us at Sebald, Hackwelder, & Knox today for help. Let us make your adoption process as easy and clear-cut as possible: (814) 833-1987.