Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Posts tagged "same sex adoption"

Same Sex Adoption

Same-sex adoptions can take place in the form of a second-parent adoption. A second-parent adoption allows a person to adopt the child of their "unmarried" partner. In 2002, the Supreme Court held that the parental rights of the first parent need not be terminated for the adoption by the second parent to take place. Since that time, PA has remained in the minority of states that allow second-parent adoptions on a statewide basis. If a same-sex couple is married, they follow the same procedures as a kinship or step-parent adoption.

Same-Sex Adoption

Married same-sex couples can pursue a step-parent adoption. A step-parent adoption requires background checks be completed as it relates to the adopting parents. Presently, there are three background checks required: (1) Child Abuse History Clearance; (2) PA State Police Criminal Record Check; and (3) FBI Criminal Background Check through the Department of Welfare. The rights of the natural parent need to be terminated in conjunction with the adoption petition. This can be via consent of the natural parent or via involuntary termination if grounds for termination exist.

Married Same-Sex Adoption

Today marked the completion of my first same-sex step-parent adoption. Prior to May 2014, a same sex couple had to follow the steps for second-parent adoption which required a home study as opposed to a step-parent adoption which did not. However, in a decision rendered May 20, 2014, the Honorable John E. Jones, III, sitting for the US District Court in the Middle District on the case of Whitewood v. Michael Wolf, ruled that two of Pennsylvania's laws regarding marriage were unconstitutional on the basis that they violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Now that Pennsylvania recognizes same-sex marriages, same-sex partners can also benefit from the simpler process of a kinship or step-parent adoption. 

Same-Sex Adoption

While Pennsylvania does not acknowledge same-sex marriages, the Supreme Court has established that same-sex adoptions can take place in the form of a second-parent adoption. A second-parent adoption allows a person to adopt the child of their "unmarried" partner. In 2002, the Supreme Court held that the parental rights of the first parent need not be terminated for the adoption by the second parent to take place. Since that time, PA has remained in the minority of states that allow second-parent adoptions on a statewide basis.

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