Earlier this month, an Alabama mother's rights were restored when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a judgment by Alabama courts. The courts ruled that the former same-sex partner of the children's biological mother should be given visitation rights in the second-parent adoptions of her three children.
Since same-sex marriage was legalized in June, there have been many changes in the law. The law continues to evolve, especially in situations involving second-parent adoptions and same-sex divorce.
Currently, close to half of the states in the U.S. allow for second-parent adoptions. However, every state handles second-parent adoption issues differently.
This case raises a number of questions about child custody, visitation and adoption laws in Alabama. Does the situation change with same-sex marriage? Does one parent have more rights if he or she is the biological parent? How do second-parent adoptions affect custodial rights in the event that parents split?
Second-parent adoptions can benefit the non-biological parent and may provide some protection in the event that the couple splits. When parents split, it is often beneficial for the child to maintain a relationship with both parents. Parenting time can be determined with help from a divorce or family lawyer.
It is important to remember that the courts will consider many different factors when determining custody in situations involving second-parent adoptions. Ultimately, the courts will make decisions based on the best interests of the child(ren).
If you have questions about adoption or need advice on situations involving same-sex marriage, divorce, child custody or visitation matters, you should seek advice from an experienced lawyer.