How Co-Parent Adoption Makes Families Stronger

America has always been a country that struggles with its non-traditional families and the desire to provide a good family environment for children. This tension can lead to a lot of confrontation between people with different views about family, but in most cases, the issues can be resolved by using the options available to make families as solid, safe, and loving as possible. After all, no one wants to create an unstable family. We just need to make sure everyone knows the options out there to add that extra level of stability and security to their families.

One way this can be done is through co-parent adoption. This legal tool is a very useful way to make sure families stay together and have the full legal weight of a single family unit, but for some reason, it isn’t as well-known as it should be.

Why Co-Parent Adoption Matters

Going through a co-parent adoption provides the non-biological parent with the same legal rights to take care of minor children as the biological parent. This means the co-parent has the same rights to determine schooling, medical choices, and other major life decisions as the biological parent. The co-parent can also apply for custody (joint or full) of the child or children in the event of a divorce.

Overall, it provides more certainty and a more solid basis for the family to develop from. There’s more security in knowing both parents in the household have an equal ability to make the important decisions and take care of the children. It also makes sure no parent feels lesser in the household.

What Kind of Family Requires Co-Parent Adoption?

According to Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., co-parent adoption comes up most often in two situations: in the event of surrogate or donor pregnancies in which only one of the parents in the household is related biologically to the child, or in the event of a same-sex couple in which only one parent is related biologically to the child.

In both situations, in certain states (such as New Jersey), the parent that is not biologically related to the child can then adopt the child.

Unfortunately, this option is not available for families in which the child already has two living parents. In the event of a divorce, when both parents still have custody of the child, the new spouse cannot go through the co-parent adoption. Only if one parent has their parental rights terminated (which is a very difficult process) can the other parent adopt.

As you can see, there are some limitations to co-parent adoption, but it is certainly a very powerful way to strengthen families. Hopefully, it will become more widespread across the country, and as it becomes more available, the option will become more well-known and used more often.

If we all want a child growing up in a household with two, loving parents, this is a great start to reaching that point.

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