Concerns from the KD - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 12-04-2007, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DF and I are in the get-to-know-you phase of potentially donating to a wonderful lesbian couple in another state. This is the first time we've ever considered such a thing and have some questions. We realize that the risks are much greater for our new-found friends but we have our own concerns as well. It all goes back to the child support issue for us. In their state gay marriage and 2nd Party Adoption are both legal. However, for reasons I am not at liberty to discuss, they cannot marry any time soon and having both moms on the birth certificate poses threats as well. If the 2nd parent legally adopts the baby then wouldn't it totally remove any and all rights from the donor? Is there another way the donor can be totally eradicated from liability and responsibility? From what I've read about contracts, they're not entirely bullet-proof so we're just wondering if there's a more secure way for all of us to grow more comfortable with this.

I just want to add that we're very surprised at our own excitement. I mean we're really not "getting" anything out of this other than the gratification of knowing we're helping someone to achieve their dream of having a family. Yet any time we get an email from them we drop what we're doing and run to the computer with anticipation over the message. It really is an amazing thing!
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#2 of 21 Old 12-04-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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How exciting!

I don't know too much about it, but I do believe that it's quite possible for the biological father to terminate his "parental rights," even in the absence of an adoption. I'm not sure what the draw-backs to this are, if there are any. But I do know that in adoption situations, there are times when the biological father has signed off on his rights before the biological mother does (or vice versa).

HTH!

Lex

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#3 of 21 Old 12-05-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Any contract you sign between your DF and the couple prior to the birth of the child probably won't show up in court (it can show "intent" sometimes, but it's not great). However, once the child is born, the termination of parental rights by the biological father doesn't depend on marriage, adoption, or a partner's name on the birth certificate, that's something you can pursue just between your DF and the biological mother of the child. Known donors can do this with single women, also.

However, you have to trust that they'll be willing to pursue that and not immediately pursue DF for support. And they have to trust that DF will voluntarily relinquish his rights to the child. Once it's done (and whatever waiting period the state has is over), DF no longer has any rights or responsibilities with respect to the child (and the biomom's partner is free to seek adoption, if they choose).

I would suggest writing up a contract, even if it isn't legally enforcable. It can help both parties to clarify their roles and expectations so everyone has a better idea what they're getting into.

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#4 of 21 Old 12-05-2007, 05:04 AM
 
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I would suggest talking to an attorney. I know that here in Illinois-our KD would not be able to terminate his rights unless someone was willing to step up and adopt the baby. There is something about a child having a right to two parents. In addition, they are trying to stop dead beat fathers from getting out of paying child support. However I know every state is different.

You would really have to trust that they would not pursue child support. I say go see an adoption attorney and find out because every state is different.

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#5 of 21 Old 12-05-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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I would also be very interested to know more about voluntary termination of parental rights, specifically in cases where there is no adoption happening.
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#6 of 21 Old 12-05-2007, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whose state laws do we need to go by? I would imagine it would be determined by the state in which the child resides since I know that's how jurisdiction over custody matters is determined. Am I right to assume that?
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#7 of 21 Old 12-06-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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So happy for you! I don't know all the legal jargon, but dh is the kd for our dear friends who had their baby about 8 months ago. so we can relate to your excitement. it has been a fulfilling experience for all of us and we will definitely do it again in the future. make sure (as other people suggested) to have everyone involved sign a contract to clarify everyone's role and expectations. We've known our friends for just over 4 years so trust was already established and their more family then friends now. Trust your instincts. Best of luck to you.

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#8 of 21 Old 12-07-2007, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It looks like we may have run into a brick wall at the moment. According to an attorney in their state, the KD cannot voluntarily relinquish his parental rights unless someone else adopts the baby. At this time our friends are in a position where the other mom cannot adopt the baby. This means that DF will still be liable for the baby and, for everyone's peace of mind, he would prefer to relinquish his rights to the other mommy. It may be that we just need to wait a while until our friends are in a position where a 2nd party adoption will be possible. It was quite disheartening for all of us to come up against this.
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#9 of 21 Old 12-07-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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I'm glad you spoke to an attorney. BTW-is there a reason why they can't pursue a 2nd parent adoption? It's good that you figured this out sooner rather than later!


Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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#10 of 21 Old 12-07-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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Definitely good that you figured this out now. I think that handling ALL of the nitty gritty early on is so very important.

I second Expectantmami's question about why the other mom can't adopt.....it can be so important for many different legal reasons -- healthcare, dealing with schools, etc. (I will admit, though, that I'm a rather big "get all the legal coverage possible" person, just to be fair).

be well,
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#11 of 21 Old 12-07-2007, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are really hoping there is either a way around it or that maybe in time there will come a point where our friends will be able to do 2nd parent adoption. They are awesome people and we really want to help them. I don't want to be specific about why they can't do a 2nd parent adoption as it's really not my place but I will say that the one who wants to become pg could lose her job. We've discussed all of the benefits to 2nd parent adoption (as mentioned by megincl) but it seems that a career change is not in the cards at this juncture.
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#12 of 21 Old 12-09-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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There are definately times when a second parent adoption wouldn't be a good idea, like if they are in the military. I am a "go for everything legal" type too but know that that are reasons not to do this as well.

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#13 of 21 Old 12-09-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by megan sacha View Post
There are definately times when a second parent adoption wouldn't be a good idea, like if they are in the military. I am a "go for everything legal" type too but know that that are reasons not to do this as well.
I'm a big fan of everything legal as well... it really does protect everyone... the intended parents, KD, and most of all the child.... but what if you just can't...?

Then what? We love our KD and want this time happen... sometimes laws just really suck... and we have two of them working against us right now. I want to do what's best for everyone... but I can't provide for my family without a job... so now what??
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#14 of 21 Old 12-09-2007, 03:58 PM
 
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Well, then I think you are actually in no worse a position than the average heterosexual woman, who makes a baby with a man based on trust, and hopes she doesn't have to fall back on family law to protect her interests.

In fact I think you are in a better position really, because your judgment is not clouded by sexual desire or focus on your feelings for the man, and you are able to approach this more rationally with a view to whether he is a good and trustworthy person to make a baby with.

JMO.

I would make a contract to outline your intentions, and obviously do AI and not actual sex because that clouds the issue legally, and if that feels good enough to you, IMO it probably is.

Or not, but that's life, and really what are you worried about? It is pretty far fetched to think a donor could come in and actually take your child, which would be my worry. Worst case scenario if the contract is totally ignored they would get visitation (with accompanying child support), but if you do not live with him and the baby is born into your custody, even if he went off the deep end and tried to take the baby, courts generally do not change primary physical custody unless you are declared unfit.
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#15 of 21 Old 12-09-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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I have heard of people donating/inseminating in a doctor's office in order to make it very clear to all parties/legally that it is a donation not a parenting arrangement. That might be something to talk ask the lawyer about?
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#16 of 21 Old 12-10-2007, 02:27 AM
 
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I have heard of people donating/inseminating in a doctor's office in order to make it very clear to all parties/legally that it is a donation not a parenting arrangement. That might be something to talk ask the lawyer about?
Legally, this works in California, but not in other U.S. states. I mean, it might make the intention clearer, but it's not legally binding anywhere else.

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#17 of 21 Old 12-10-2007, 04:58 AM
 
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Then what? We love our KD and want this time happen... sometimes laws just really suck... and we have two of them working against us right now. I want to do what's best for everyone... but I can't provide for my family without a job... so now what??
These are hard decisions. I agree with Thismama-my biggest fear would be the KD or his family trying to take the baby away. However, generally courts won't take a baby away from a biological mother.

In the end you are taking a chance no matter what. Our KD could still change his mind (he has 3 days after the baby is born). I could decide that I never want our KD to see the baby. My DP and I could break up and she could decide that she doesn't want to adopt the baby, etc...... I can go on and on. Second parent adoption provides some protection, but it's not necessarily the end all be all.

Laws really do suck! I am also betting that there is some crazy homophobia playing in here-it really sucks!

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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#18 of 21 Old 12-10-2007, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are hard decisions. I agree with Thismama-my biggest fear would be the KD or his family trying to take the baby away. However, generally courts won't take a baby away from a biological mother.

In the end you are taking a chance no matter what. Our KD could still change his mind (he has 3 days after the baby is born). I could decide that I never want our KD to see the baby. My DP and I could break up and she could decide that she doesn't want to adopt the baby, etc...... I can go on and on. Second parent adoption provides some protection, but it's not necessarily the end all be all.

Laws really do suck! I am also betting that there is some crazy homophobia playing in here-it really sucks!
From the sounds of it the donor is just trying to establish some kind of protection for himself - no different from the recipient. I don't see how this makes the donor homophobic. The donor may just as easily presume that the recipient harbors some bigotry for wanting to protect herself. Jumping to harmful conclusions is not helpful to anyone. It's very unfair to say the donor is homophobic simply because he doesn't want to be liable for child support in the future. As you said, anything can happen. This is why BOTH parties need to be protected. I'm sure the donor isn't the only party seeking this protection.
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#19 of 21 Old 12-10-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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From the sounds of it the donor is just trying to establish some kind of protection for himself - no different from the recipient. I don't see how this makes the donor homophobic. The donor may just as easily presume that the recipient harbors some bigotry for wanting to protect herself. Jumping to harmful conclusions is not helpful to anyone. It's very unfair to say the donor is homophobic simply because he doesn't want to be liable for child support in the future. As you said, anything can happen. This is why BOTH parties need to be protected. I'm sure the donor isn't the only party seeking this protection.
I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear! I don't mean about the donor-I meant that I was assuming there was a homophobic reason about why the recipient couldn't do a second parent adoption! I definately think that the donor needs to protect himself too!

What I meant was that we live in a very homophobic world-where I think it sucks that a parent cannot make herself a legal parent-I do assume that there is some sort of homophobic reason there-but not because of the donor but because of circumstances!

I did not mean to imply in any way that I think the donor is homophobic! I am so sorry if I came accross that way!

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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#20 of 21 Old 12-10-2007, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear! I don't mean about the donor-I meant that I was assuming there was a homophobic reason about why the recipient couldn't do a second parent adoption! I definately think that the donor needs to protect himself too!

What I meant was that we live in a very homophobic world-where I think it sucks that a parent cannot make herself a legal parent-I do assume that there is some sort of homophobic reason there-but not because of the donor but because of circumstances!

I did not mean to imply in any way that I think the donor is homophobic! I am so sorry if I came accross that way!
Haha, ok, I totally misunderstood what you were saying. I'm sorry.

Yes, in our case the underlying politics we're finding ourselves coming up against are definitely of a homophobic nature. Unfortunately it's a 'policy' that we're finding difficult to get around. We haven't given up and I don't think our mamas are going to give up either. We just need to find a loophole or a way to sidestep this issue. I'm sure the solution will present itself if we're diligent and persistent in our search.
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#21 of 21 Old 12-12-2007, 01:40 AM
 
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Haha, ok, I totally misunderstood what you were saying. I'm sorry.

Yes, in our case the underlying politics we're finding ourselves coming up against are definitely of a homophobic nature. Unfortunately it's a 'policy' that we're finding difficult to get around. We haven't given up and I don't think our mamas are going to give up either. We just need to find a loophole or a way to sidestep this issue. I'm sure the solution will present itself if we're diligent and persistent in our search.
mmm... loopholes.... gotta LOVE those loopholes, huh Mama?
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