How parentage is recognized is determined by each state. Just because the Federal Government recognizes same-sex marriage, it does not follow that your state does as well. Having legalized same-sex marriage last August, Minnesota has this situation fairly well in hand. But, is any extra hoop too much to make sure your legal relationship with your child is secure? While we wait for all the fall-out from continuing legal clarifications, be aware of your state’s parentage recognition laws and seek legal advice if you’re concerned.
In Minnesota, if you’re legally married, unless someone challenges your parentage, upon the birth of your child during your marriage, you will both be listed as “parents” on the birth-certificate. The same for couples adopting – both will be listed as “parents.” It gets a little trickier using a surrogate, and it is advisable to seek legal counsel for help with the legal process of drafting agreements and clarifying expectations, as well as handling the termination of surrogate parental rights. If you’re already a parent and then you get married, and your new spouse wishes to adopt your child, your spouse will need to formally adopt as a “second parent.”
So, when should you jump through the “extra hoop?” For many situations, you may wish to consider a second-parent adoption even if one is not technically required, to be secure in your legal parental rights. Speak to a legal professional and talk through your situation. Find out what they would advise.
Below is a helpful link for frequently asked questions for same-sex couples, published by Project 515 last August:www.decorolaw.com