What is a two-parent adoption?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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There are a number of different types of adoptions that exist within the United States. One type of adoption that is becoming more popular is a two parent adoption. Two parent adoption generally involves two people who are not married that want to adopt a child together. While two parent adoption can be a viable option for an unmarried, but committed couple, such adoptions are not always legal. 

What is a Two Parent Adoption

A two parent adoption is an adoption between two unmarried individuals who are living in the same household and who wish to share joint custody, responsibility for, and have rights to a child. Two parent adoptions can either be used in order to adopt an infant, or in order to adopt an older child, such as through the foster care system. 

These types of adoptions may not be possible in every case, however, as they are not legally recognized in every state. One of the reasons these adoptions are not legal in some states is because the goal of the state is that a child be placed in a permanent home. In the eyes of the courts and legislatures who do not recognize two parent adoption, one indicator of permanence is that the couple adopting the child is married. 

In states where the two parent adoption system is legal, it is sometimes used by gay, lesbian, and transgender couples that wish to adopt a child. Because these couples are not legally able to be married (as of 2010), a two parent adoption may be the only choice for gay couples that wish to adopt a child together. 

Getting Help

If you wish to adopt a child through a two parent adoption (which may also be referred to as “un-married couple adoption”), you should consult with a lawyer. Your attorney can let you know whether two parent adoptions are legal in your state and, if so, can help you begin the process of arranging such an adoption.  

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