I need advice! Making a will & 2nd parent adoption - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-04-2011, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So our baby is 4mo and we really need to make a will, but I'm not really sure how to go about it.

 

Should we get a lawyer or can we just do it ourselves and then get it notarized? We used a lawyer for our donor agreement--she charged a lot and I don't think she really understood our situation even though she specialized in lgbt family issues. Then we ended up re-doing the agreement for me to get pregnant instead of my partner, and we changed a bunch of stuff around on it and just got it notarized.

Maybe we could just get a lawyer that doesn't focus of lgbt? But then they might not understand either. I really would just rater do it ourselves, but is that even legal?

We are legally married in our state and both of our names are one her birth certificate, the main issue is that if we died we want custody to go to our sperm donor--he's our good friend and has a big part in our daughter's life anyway. Our lawyer seemed to think that was a horrible idea--she couldn't seem to wrap her head around it and thought that our donor could use that to try to get custody of our baby now if he wanted. I don't think he would do that anyway, but is there any basis to what she said?

 

My second question is, do we need to do a second patent adoption? We are both parents legally, but what if we went on vacation to another, more conservative state? Could the 2nd parent adoption keep us from having issues or is it unnecessary?

 

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!

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#2 of 4 Old 08-04-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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I'm not a lawyer, but I would say that you should probably at least talk to one about how wills are handled in your state--some places a notarized piece of paper works, in others there are more hoops you need to go through. And although no one would dream of fighting either you or your DP for custody now, once a tragedy happens there's no knowing what kind of craziness might come out of relatives who are grieving.

You also should do a second parent adoption if it's an option in your state. If you live in IL and your names are both on the birth certificate, that's great. Once you drive into Indiana, no one gives a rat's hiney about that--the non birth mom has no rights (because her name is on the birth certificate because of your marriage--but if the state doesn't recognize your marriage they also don't recognize anything associated with it, including the birth certificate). If you have it available to you you should absolutely take the steps to protect your family.

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And so are the boys!
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#3 of 4 Old 08-04-2011, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I live in VT and it's easy to end up in a bubble, but we have been kind of putting off traveling to unfriendly states because of it. We are mostly just trying to not spend a ton of $ and all this stuff is so expensive! Maybe we will just not go out of New England for a few years until we can afford to do the 2nd parent adoption. Wow that would suck! It's cold here! I wonder if there are any organizations that provide finical assistance for stuff like this?

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#4 of 4 Old 08-04-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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I'm not an expert, but we did our will with a lawyer and I'd recommend that.  Our lawyer suggested a bunch of things that I had no idea about (ie, setting up a sprinkling trust for our kids), and in addition, I've understood that it's the settling the will should one or the other of you die that is where the complications can creep up. 

 

It also wasn't that expensive as far as lawyer things go.  It was about $800.  I think you can usually get it done for anywhere from $400-$1000 depending on the complexity of your will (ours was very straight forward) and the seniority of the lawyer you use.

 

We did a second parent adoption because it was important to us...it was also the only way in our province that our KD could relinquish his parental rights and my DW could ascertain hers.  I don't know what the implications are for you in this regard.


DW and I are moms to two teens (DD 17 and DS 15) adopted through CAS in 2007 and a toddler (DD 2) born at home in March 2011.

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