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We take a special pleasure helping gay and lesbian couples ensure the safety and security of their children by assisting with second-parent adoptions. It is critical for Gay and Lesbian couples with children to perform a second-parent adoption to ensure that both parents enjoy the rights and privileges of parenting. It is impossible to achieve any meaningful security for your child through a contract. Unlike many other firms, because of our extensive litigation and traditional family law experience we have the depth of skill necessary to ensure that we can smooth out any bumps that might arise.

As a special value to you, we write a pair of wills for every couple performing a second-parent adoption at no additional cost. Fortunately, the cost of the second-parent adoption should not be a barrier because the cost is refunded to most of our clients as a direct federal tax credit.

Your Names on Your Baby’s Birth Certificate.

Many parents have questions about the rules related to naming their child upon birth. Generally, our lesbian clients deliver their babies in Maryland and the District of Columbia. If your child is delivered in Virginia, existing law bars you from adding your partner’s name to your baby’s birth certificate, even if you complete a second-parent adoption in the state where you live. Therefore, many lesbian moms avoid Virginia around the time of the likely birth.

If you deliver in DC or Maryland, you will not be able to put both mothers’ names on the birth certificate at the time of birth. In addition, DC law requires that the child’s last name on the original birth certificate be the same as the biological mother’s. However, gay and lesbian parents can obtain a new (replacement) birth certificate with both parents’ names (listed as “Parent 1” and “Parent 2”) after completing a second-parent adoption. You can also change the child’s last name as part of the second-parent adoption. (Some families choose to give the child a hyphenated last name or the same last name as the non-biological mother.)

Note that when a child who is born in Maryland receives a new Maryland birth certificate, that birth certificate will not be on normal certificate paper. Instead, it will be printed on plain white paper. It will, however, have the state’s raised seal and it will be completely legally valid.

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