The constitution’s Equal Protection Clause protects the rights of same-sex couples to marry and be recognized by law in all states. Court decisions also support equal application of family law to same-sex couples, but laws are yet to be uniformly applied across states. Some states, however, still show resistance to treating same-sex couples as equal, especially in cases where adoption and legal rights involving children are concerned.

Same-sex couples wishing to adopt a child face many social as well as legal challenges when doing so. Adoption fulfills their rights and desires to form a family unit and strengthen their bond as well as provide for countless children left orphaned each year. The opposition raises concerns that children raised in homosexual families will have to face unwelcome social consequences, such as teasing and bullying from friends at school. They also argue that these children will grow to become homosexuals themselves and may be subject to abuse. Nonetheless, these concerns are largely mere speculations.

When a heterosexual couple has a child, both parents are considered the child’s legal parents by default and retain their right to make decisions for the child even after divorce. Many states, however, only acknowledge one parent in same-sex couples as the legal parent of the child. The second parent may file a petition for adoption of the child to attain legal rights. Different states implement different laws concerning the legal rights of the second parent in same-sex adoption cases with some states denying the second parent any and all rights over the child regardless.

If you are a homosexual parent to a child and are unclear about your rights as a legal or second parent, you will benefit from the guidance of a family law attorney. An attorney will better tell you of your rights as a same-sex parent.