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Gay Adoptions - Bans on Gay Marriages Ruled Unconstitutional in More States

gay-adoption-thumb-250x187-84898-thumb-250x187-84900.jpgA lesbian couple from Virginia has a lot to celebrate these days. Desiree Bryan recently gave birth to twin girls, but not in her home state. Instead, Desiree and her partner Stephanie drove two hours to the District of Columbia were Stephanie gave birth to two healthy girls.

When children are born in the District of Columbia to a gay couple, both parents' names are added to the birth certificate. However, the birth certificate is not considered legal proof of parentage. That is why within a few months, the mothers will return to the District of Columbia were Stephanie will be able to adopt the girls and share full parental rights with her partner, Desiree.

The women couldn't have equal parental rights if the child had been born in Virginia. However, a recent law allows the courts to grant adoptions to out-of-state lesbian couples when the children are born in the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia is one of few jurisdictions where second-parent adoptions can occur even when the parents don't reside there.

In addition, even in states that don't have gay-friendly laws, court rulings are enforced despite the state court that issued them.

One of the benefits of Stephanie's adoption of the two girls is that in the event she should die, the girls will now be entitled to Stephanie's Social Security benefits. Absent the adoption, the girls still could have received Stephanie's Social Security benefits if she stipulated that in her will.

The District of Columbia's Parentage Act is fairly new. Until just a year ago, Stephanie and Desiree would have needed to establish residence in the District. However, an amendment was added in March 2013.

While most lesbian couples giving birth to children in the District of Columbia are from Virginia, some couples travel from as far away as North Carolina and Ohio.

Gay Marriage Expands Across the United States

Increasingly, judges across United States are ruling in favor of gay marriage. Recently, judges in Michigan and Pennsylvania have wiped the ban on gay marriage from their books.

Presently, 19 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages. There are lawsuits banning gay marriage in every state that bars gay marriage except for North Dakota. Repeatedly, district courts are ruling that the ban on gay marriages is unconstitutional.

In Oregon, Judge Michael McShane who is gay and has a 20-year-old son, not only ruled in favor of gay marriages but also shared his hardships and growing up gay in the United States.

Do you have questions about custody, guardianships, children's issues, spousal support or same-sex unions? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support,domestic violence as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.

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