Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Northampton, MA
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I would ask some local queer parents if I were you, because it really does vary by location since not all states makes you jump through the same hoops.
We didn't do anything before the birth. We actually didn't do anything until our twins were 3 years old. We didn't have the money. Luckily, everything was fine (and "domestic partner" benefits got the boys covered by dw's health insurance). I had heard from some people that it would cost at least $1,000 to do the adoption, but when I asked on a local queer parenting listserve, I found out that we could actually do it ourselves for FREE! We ended up hiring a lawyer anyway because my parents offered to pay for it, and it cost us $750 for BOTH kids in lawyer fees (the actual adoption didn't cost anything).
We are planning to do our two youngest kids' adoptions ourselves, since we can just look over the paperwork from last time and change the names and dates.
I guess all the other paperwork could feel important if you have unsupportive families or live in a very anti-gay area (i.e. where you'd need legal documents to allow both of you to be in the room with your baby in the hospital or something like that). But for us, it really wasn't necessary. We knew that my family would never try to take our babies away from dw if something happened to me, and all of the local hospitals, etc. never questioned the relationship between dw and the kids.
Good luck ttc!
Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.