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Scary - revoking 2nd parent adoptions in NC???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is scary to me - thought I'd post it here....

 

 

 

NC Supreme Court Voids 2nd Parent Adoption – In of December 2010, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled 5-2 to void state Sen. Julia Boseman’s second-parent adoption on Monday.  Boseman was defending the adoption after her former partner Melissa Jarrell challenged it following their separation. Jarrell gave birth to her son in 2002, and she and Boseman sought the second-parent adoption in a Durham County district court. The judge in that case allowed Boseman to adopt the child. Though the justices did not void a separate court ruling ensuring joint custody of the couple’s child, the ruling nonetheless shutters a process some same-sex couples across the state have used to guarantee parental rights and protections for their children and families. 
What does this mean for other NC families?
1. Same-sex parents can no longer obtain second parent adoptions in North Carolina.
2. If other second parent adoptions were challenged, a court would have to find the adoption was invalid. However, the impact, if any, on existing adoptions that are not challenged is not yet clear. If you have an existing second parent adoption, we encourage you to contact the attorney you worked with for further advice.
3. There will now no longer be any legal question in NC that if you are jointly raising a child with your partner who is the legal parent, then you will be entitled to pursue a claim for custody if you were to unfortunately break up.
post #2 of 7

I talked to a friend in NC about this and basically she said the reason this adoption was able to be overturned is b/c there's a law on NC books that states for a 2nd parent to adopt a child, the first (birth/bio) parent has to give up her rights to the child. Makes no sense, right? So the NC judges granting these adoptions have waived that part of the process which is what the birth mom exploited to invalidate her partner's 2nd parent adoption of their child.

 

So, even though I'm saddened for queer parents in NC, I think those of us in other states w/2nd parent adoptions that don't include any waived steps are still safe.

post #3 of 7
My partner and I live in North Carolina, followed this case closely, and were devastated by the outcome. We've already been TTC for almost a year, and we have no idea what we are going to do to protect her rights after I give birth to our baby.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantafemme View Post

I talked to a friend in NC about this and basically she said the reason this adoption was able to be overturned is b/c there's a law on NC books that states for a 2nd parent to adopt a child, the first (birth/bio) parent has to give up her rights to the child. Makes no sense, right? So the NC judges granting these adoptions have waived that part of the process which is what the birth mom exploited to invalidate her partner's 2nd parent adoption of their child.

 

So, even though I'm saddened for queer parents in NC, I think those of us in other states w/2nd parent adoptions that don't include any waived steps are still safe.


Is it the birthing mother that has to give up her rights, or the "other bio parent"?  As in, the sperm donor, or known sperm donor "parent"?  If its the birthing mother that has to give up her rights, then the law makes zero sense at all (unless its a 2-dad couple in which case the birthing mother would have to give up rights). 

 

I also don't understand why, if the adoption is invalid, the second parent can pursue custody?  That just seems like a weird ruling.

post #5 of 7

Super~Single~Mama, it's the birthing parent that has to give up the rights, which is why is makes no sense and was bypassed. The one thing that can save the other NC 2nd parent adoptions and make them possible in the future for others is for that dumb law to be nixed but I imagine that will take at least a few years of work from the community. 

 

I think the 2nd parent in this case was awarded shared custody because the court found it in the child's best interest since that 2nd parent had been involved in the child's life from the beginning. 

 

AmandaMom, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. You should talk with a lawyer now. I know you can create wills that identify your partner as your child's guardian in the event that something should happen to you but I'm not sure what else, short of moving to a friendlier state, that you can do. 

post #6 of 7

I've been checking this out too as my partner and I are TTC and live in NC. I'm going to talk to an attorney but that just adds to the crazy costs of having a baby. It seems like without having my partner as the 2nd legal parent of the child will cause all kinds of problems. What good would living wills do? I don't know much about them.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabmomkt View Post

I've been checking this out too as my partner and I are TTC and live in NC. I'm going to talk to an attorney but that just adds to the crazy costs of having a baby. It seems like without having my partner as the 2nd legal parent of the child will cause all kinds of problems. What good would living wills do? I don't know much about them.



This is an old thread, but I live in Winston-Salem, and would be happy to talk if you want. Send me a private message. Same-sex parents cannot jointly adopt or do second parent adoptions in NC right now. Wills, powers of attorney, and guardianship documents are hugely important, and will provide your partner with as much protection as is possible. The situation sucks, in a word.

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