Co-Parent Adoption in MA - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are expecting our first in a very short amount of time and are starting to gather information for my wife to be an equal, legal parent as soon as possible. All of the paperwork that came from the courthouse was somewhat daunting and frightening. I somehow painted this rose-colored, easy experience in my mind. We have a known donor, but under no circumstances want him to sign the "surrender form" we were sent. Other must have felt the same way so any tips, ideas, suggestions are so greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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no advice on this subject myself,but you've come to the right place to find it. Good luck on the processand I'm sure it will all work out fine.
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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Can I ask why you don't want him to sign a surrender form?

Me + DP + 2 rescue lap dogs = True Love Always
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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First off, welcome!

We did a 2nd parent adoption in MA 7 years ago (pre marriage here) and are about to do our second.

I know how harsh that surrender can seem, but you have to do it in order for the adoption to go through. Our KD cried when he got the paperwork. Not because he wouldn't/couldn't sign it, but because it seems harsh and was a bit like a punch in the gut. But he did it. And never doubted he would. And WE never doubted he would. It's just hard. I think mostly because of the language of it.

In the end, though, whatever happens on paper has little to no bearing on the relationship you create with your KD. I think that is paramount, and it's important to acknowledge that and work on creating that relationship on an ongoing basis.

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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i don't have any advice about the known donor situation but i'm guessing you won't be able to complete the adoption process without him signing the surrender form or somehow not claiming his rights to the child. the adoption process requires that the child's 'father' not declare his rights thus terminating them and allowing for your wife to adopt.

we have completed the forms for our adoption and were able to do it without a lawyer. i plan to file the papers on monday, so we will see how we did!

good luck!

Me, DW , and DS born 7/6/10
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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Did you guys just go down to the courthouse and ask for papers? How would it work without a KD? We used a bank...

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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Are you married? Would you consider it?

In MA, a pregnant woman's spouse is the legal father of her baby. (In fact, if a pregnant woman was divorced less than 300 days before the birth of the baby, her ex is *still* the legal father, unless she remarries or he submits a bunch of paperwork.) Also in MA, women can legally marry other women. You would probably still have to take some steps to assure that the relationship had legal force outside the state, but I *know* that lesbian couples have used this particular legal oddity to their advantage.

Unfortunately, the law stingily allows only two parents per child. If you and your partner both want the legal rights of parenthood, the KD is going to have to surrender.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
Are you married? Would you consider it?

In MA, a pregnant woman's spouse is the legal father of her baby. (In fact, if a pregnant woman was divorced less than 300 days before the birth of the baby, her ex is *still* the legal father, unless she remarries or he submits a bunch of paperwork.) Also in MA, women can legally marry other women. You would probably still have to take some steps to assure that the relationship had legal force outside the state, but I *know* that lesbian couples have used this particular legal oddity to their advantage.

Unfortunately, the law stingily allows only two parents per child. If you and your partner both want the legal rights of parenthood, the KD is going to have to surrender.
If you're married, you'll both be able to be on the birth certificate, no matter your donor status. But, to protect you outside of the state, as pp said, you would need to do the second parent adoption. Without that, any state that doesn't recognize your marriage doesn't have to recognize the non-gestational mom as a legal parent.

And Osker -- you just need to call up the family probate court and ask for second parent adoption papers. We haven't filled them out, but things look rather straightforward (I know others on here have done this process successfully). Let me know if you want more details and I can dredge them up from my computer.

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
Unfortunately, the law stingily allows only two parents per child. If you and your partner both want the legal rights of parenthood, the KD is going to have to surrender.
Really? Has anyone asked?

I know in Ontario, there was a case where the courts decided that a child legally had three parents - the two lesbian moms, and the known donor and all three were named on the birth certificate and granted parental rights.

In my experience, MA can be very receptive to innovation on birth certificates - you'll never know until you ask.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the thoughts and suggestions! We have all of the paperwork from family court. It was just gut-wrenching to see the surrender forms with a father giving up custody when we are building a family that doesn't have a father and was never intended to. I have heard that a lawyer helps the process by cutting down the 6 month waiting period and can bypass the home study. Is this anyone's experience?
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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We used a donor from a bank and a lawyer. She filed paperwork that waved the 6 mo waiting period and home study. (Probably you can do this without a lawyer, too....?) We started the paperwork before my son was born because we wanted the second parent adoption to happen as soon as possible even though we are legally married. It was very fast and the adoption happened within 60 days of his birth. Very easy and celebratory at the courthouse and we even had a queer judge! Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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i just filed our papers and completed them without a lawyer. we completed a motion form requesting to waive the residency requirement. the clerk told me the waiver was common and would not be a problem to get approved. i don't think you need to pay for a lawyer to do that. save your money and do the waiver yourself. it was easy.

we are not required to do a home study since we are married. i just needed to provide a copy of our marriage license. so again no lawyer necessary!

she also told me we would have a court date by the end of november! yeah

Me, DW , and DS born 7/6/10
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I spoke with someone in Cambridge, at the courthouse, about completing the waivers and she also made it seem relatively simple. I think we might have just saved ourselves several thousand dollars! Thanks everyone!
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