New Jersey has eased the burden for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents who seek adoption to make their families whole. As a result of a new law simplifying the adoption process, non-biological parents can enjoy the protections afforded by law without subjecting themselves to an unnecessarily burdensome process.
The law allows LGBT couples who are legally married or joined in a civil union to become legally recognized parents to a child born from a pregnancy achieved with donor-genetic material. Many same-sex couples create their families using these medically assisted methods. Since the unconventional parentage lacks a biological element, the law has traditionally required these parents to jump through hoops to attain parental rights and protections.
Adoption is an expensive and bureaucratic process that can drain families of resources or bar them from the prospect altogether, leaving them unprotected under the law. Expensive and time-consuming obstacles can be prohibitive factors for some families. At the very least, some hurdles are simply an unnecessary waste of the court’s time and resources. Thanks to the passage of the new law, qualifying parents can be exempt from many of the components of the adoption process, such as home visits, background checks, and court hearings.
The new law was brought to life by a couple put off by the convoluted process of second-parent or confirmatory adoption required to provide appropriate legal status to their parentage of their children. They believed there had to be an easier way for families to achieve protections and recognition under the law. Without a court order, parents in New Jersey are only legally recognized if they gestated the child or donated genetic material. Neither of these was the case in their family, so they were forced to make it right through a lengthy and costly adoption process.
Recognizing that the hurdles present a barrier to legal protections that should be afforded to all families, they enlisted lawyers to draft new legislation and approached the State Senator about sponsoring the bill.
A New Streamlined Process
After the streamline, the adoption process goes into effect on April 1. A judgment establishing both parties as the legal parents will be available through the Family Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, provided that the following three documents are presented:
- An original marriage certificate or other proof of marital-type relationship, such as a civil union
- The child’s original birth certificate listing both parties as parents
- Verification that there remains no other person with claim to parentage, including an affidavit stating the circumstances of the child’s conception
New Jersey LGBT Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Advocate for the Rights of LGBT Families
Gay and lesbian non-biological parents and their children deserve equal protections under the law. The New Jersey LGBT lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. can represent you in your efforts to provide a legally recognized familial link to your children. Contact us online or call us at 908-575-9777 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.