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Trans Partners and Second-Parent Adoption

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wondering if anyone has any wisdom on this subject...


DP is trans (FtM), but still legally female. If he legally transitions and we get straight-married, do we still need to do a second parent adoption for any future children, or is he just automatically the other parent? This question is coming up as we look at job possibilities in states where second parent adoption isn't allowed.


Would love any thoughts...

post #2 of 7

My DP is also trans (FtM).  We're not starting IUIs until July, but we've been looking into this issue for a while.  M was able to change both his marker on his drivers license and get a re-issued birth certificate, and we were able to get a Georgia marriage license last fall.  It's unclear as to whether our marriage would stand up to a court challenge in GA, but the lawyer we consulted said that we should put M's name on the birth certificate at birth and avoid a second parent adoption.  The reasons for this are: 1) it's relatively diffcult to get his name off the birth certificate once it's there, and 2) a second parent adoption would open our marriage up to legal scrutiny that we would likely avoid otherwise.  We also don't even know if the courts would grant a second parent adoption to a transperson; GA courts are notoriously wacky. 


That said, I don't trust my family to leave M alone should anything happen to me once we have children, so we'll be signing very explicit wills and writing a parenting contract.  We think this is the best combination of things in our situation, but might have made a different decision if we lived in a different state or he had only been able to get an amended birth certificate.  If there is ever legal precedent in GA that invalidates our marriage or we move to a place in which that's a case, we'll get a second parent adoption because we are more concerned about him having solid parental rights than about us being legally married.  As with so many things in trans law, we're operating in grey areas because we're making decisions for which there is not a lot of legal precedent.


This is all so specific to our situation, but I hope it helps some.  Best of luck to your whole family!

post #3 of 7
Not a lawyer, but I think it differs state to state whether being married comes with the right of presumed parental status.

In Oregon, for straight married couples, its my understanding that the husband is presumed to be the father regardless of how baby was conceived. With domestic partnerships, this same right now extends to my female DP (I'm the gestational mother). So she'll be on the birth certificate automatically, but that only protects us in Oregon. We're doing the second parent adoption as extra insurance in case we travel or move.

So the answer may lie in how the state's laws see a husband's presumed parental status.

Good luck!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, this is helpful. I guess the thing to do is just wait and see what our possibilities are job-wise, and then talk to a local lawyer before making any decisions.


I really appreciate both of your advice.

post #5 of 7
I know of someone in Florida, where it is illegal for two same gendered people to adopt, who put their partner's name on the birth certificate. One partner is FTM but not legally. Under legal scrutiny this may be an issue but their family is supportive so they do not foresee problems in the future. It is taken for granted that FTM is daddy as he passes as male and is perceived as that in the world.
post #6 of 7

Actually (as I butt in here since its my first time on these forums) it is NOT illegal anymore in Florida for same sex parents to adopt. The law was taken off of the books late 2010, but its sort of been a quite ordeal. There have been MANY families adopting quitely in Florida ever since. Our friends finalized last month and we are in the process right now. There are only VERY specific lawyers and courts that will "deal" with it, but it isn't illegal anymore. HTH!

post #7 of 7

Hi Angela, 


I've been off the boards for a long while (and am only back now because I'm avoiding teaching prep!), so I missed this question when you first posted. I don't know if a move is still on the table, but I can totally identify with the unknowns of a national job search. In fact, this is the entire reason that we decided to get married-- I was going to be on the national market, and we knew we wanted to try for a baby, and M wanted as many legal rights as possible in case we moved to an inhospitable state. We got "straight" married in CA in 2008, and moved to MI that year. When E was born in 2011, we were both on the birth certificate, even though there is no second-parent adoption here.


So, to get at your question, I think it does vary from state to state, but that if J were to be legally male and you were to be legally straight married, you would have a very strong chance of having him a legal parent from the start. I don't know how much any of this would stand up in court-- this is all untested law, after all, but I think you'd be safe in all the usual ways outside of custody battles. It's one place where we chose to take the straight privilege and run with it!


Anyway, M is a lawyer and knows more about all of this than I do. But we'd both be happy to talk more about this if and when you need to....


Ok, off to work.




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