Columbia Same-Sex Adoption Lawyer
Family Lawyer in Columbia Assisting Same-Sex Couples With Adoption
Did you know that, of the nearly 600,000 same-sex couple households in the country, approximately 115,000 have at least one child? To put that figure another way, data from the U.S. Census suggests that nearly 20 percent of same-sex couples have at least one child, and the number of same-sex couple households with children continues to grow. Yet many LGBTQIA couples continue to face difficulties in the adoption process. It is important for these couples to know that they have the same adoption rights as opposite-sex couples, and that there are laws in place to protect them against discrimination.
Since legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland over five years ago, Maryland law has shifted in other ways to strengthen the rights of same-sex couples in Columbia and throughout the state. For example, as an article in the Baltimore Sun points out, Maryland’s Court of Appeals broadened how we recognize a child’s legal parents. The court’s ruling, the article emphasized, was “especially beneficial to gay parents whose routes to parenthood are often more complicated.”
If you have questions or concerns about same-sex adoption, you should know that an experienced Columbia same-sex adoption lawyer is ready to help with your case. At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, we advocate tirelessly for same-sex couples and their equal rights before the law.
Different Types of Adoption in Howard County
It is important for same-sex couples considering adoption to understand the different routes to adoption under Maryland law. The Maryland Courts provides information about the following types of adoptions:
- Public Agency Adoption: this is a type of adoption case that occurs when the department of social services files a case after terminating a parent’s rights;
- Private Agency Adoption: this is a type of adoption case that is handled by a private agency and does not necessarily involve the department of social services or any other agency. With these types of adoptions, the private agencies identify a child who is available to be adopted, and then matches that child with a family seeking to adopt; and
- Independent Adoption: this is a type of adoption case where no agency is involved—public or private—and instead a private party files for the adoption. In many independent adoptions, the party filing for the adoption is a step-parent or a co-parent.
It is important to note that adopts can be domestic (within the U.S.) as well as international (outside the U.S.). When the natural or biological parents of the child are known, they will typically be required to consent to the adoption. However, in cases where the natural or biological parent’s rights have been terminated, then consent is not required. In disputed cases, a court usually will determine what is in the best interests of the child.
Learn More from a Same-Sex Adoption Lawyer in Columbia
The prospect of adoption can be daunting, but it is important for same-sex couples to know that there are many options available to them, and that there are dedicated lawyers who are committed to helping LGBT couples become parents. An experienced and compassionate same-sex adoption lawyer in Howard County can discuss your options with you today. You can contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA online, or you can call us at 410-964-0050.