There has been some controversy concerning the rights of same sex couples and parents, and the legal status of same sex parents, in Florida recently. Same sex couples and families can face unique parenting challenges. When same sex partners begin a family they may complete the process through a sperm donor or surrogate. In circumstances when one parent is a biological parent, such as when two women use a sperm donor and one of the partners conceives the child, the other parent in some states can become a legal second parent through a step parent or second parent adoption, depending on the circumstances.
Gay and lesbian same sex parents adopting as legal and joint parents is not permitted in every state. The laws related to same sex families vary by state so it is important to have knowledge of the laws in the state where the couple resides. In a number of states stepparent, second parent or joint adoption is not an option for lesbian and gay couples. In Florida, homosexuals are “prohibited” from adopting children. Second parent adoptions are also prohibited in Florida. Stepparent adoptions may be available.
Family law can be a complex area of the law and may also be subject to changes. It is important to understand both the law and how it applies to individual situations and changes in circumstances. There are important legal rights, and sometimes challenges, associated with same sex marriage, divorces and adoptions and for same sex couples and families to consider when starting or building a family.
The decision to start, build or grow a family is an important decision for most individuals. While legal or other challenges may exist for some couples, the family law process is available to help families address and resolve their family law needs and concerns so they can enjoy their families.