Helping clients navigate their family building journey
Second Parent Adoption and Adoption by LGBT Parents
GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) Adoption
The first second parent adoption in Maryland was granted in late 1996 and the first second parent adoption in the District of Columbia was granted in 1995. Today second parent adoption in either jurisdiction is routinely granted as long as the parents have met the adoption criteria required by the local court. Jennifer has handled hundreds of second parent adoptions.
In addition to second parent adoption, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will name a married lesbian couple as the parents of a child born to them when the birth mother identifies her spouse at the hospital as the child's parent (the process in Virginia is unfolding due to the recent law providing for recognition of same-sex marriages in Virginia). In the District, marriage is not required to take advantage of this law but it is required in Maryland and Virginia. As of March 2013 non-residents will be able to obtain Parentage Orders and Adoptions in the District of Columbia if the baby is born in D.C. and you are unable to complete an adoption in your home state - this is particularly advantages for unmarried Virginia residents. Virginia does allow for step-parent adoptions by same-sex parents and those have been filed and granted since December of 2014.
If you are a gay or lesbian parent, contact Jennifer about the process for second or steop parent adoption in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia as this is still recommended to all parents in same sex relationships to secure their parental rights beyond the boundaries of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A birth certificate is a "presumption of parentage" but the adoption is a judicial determination.
If you are a gay or lesbian parent, contact Jennifer about the process for second parent adoption in Maryland and the District of Columbia or step-parent adoption in Virginia as this is still recommended to all parents in same sex relationships to secure their parental rights beyond the boundaries of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. To see the letter issued to the Maryland Birth Registrar click here. http://data.lambdalegal.org/in-court/downloads/exec_md_20110210_ss-spouse-instructions-to-facilities.pdf To see the Domestic Partnership Judicial Determination of Parentage Amendment Act of 2009, click here: http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/images/00001/20090511122621.pdf
Jennifer is one of the leading adoption attorneys in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia for clients seeking adoptions. Jennifer delivers high quality legal services for a reasonable cost. Jennifer has a streamlined process and provides direct client contact and regular communication to ensure proper and complete adoption filings. When the adoption is uncontested (all legal/genetic parents consenting or anonymous donors) the process is paperwork and rule driven. Jennifer has handled adoptions her entire career. Today she teaches other lawyers how to handle second parent adoptions and welcomes the chance to advise any gay or lesbian family on how to secure legal protections for their family.
Jennifer was recently seen on ABC News discussing the marriage recognition in Maryland and marriage in the District of Columbia specifically regarding the impact on GLBT clients considering becoming parents.
Jennifer has extensive experience in finalizing adoptions for the LGBT community in Maryland and the District of Columbia. If a birth family is placing their child with a LGBT family, she will work with the LGBT family to create an adoption plan with the birth family so that the adoptive parents may bring the child home directly from the hospital. She handles every aspect of the adoption from the adoption plan, ICPC processing and finalization.
Client feedback demonstrates that Jennifer is one of the top adoption attorneys for the LGBT community. To read the client comments, look Jennifer up on www.avvo.com. Jennifer offers no cost in person initial consultations for LGBT families interested in adoption. Uncontested second parent adoptions are handled on a capped fee basis and Jennifer is the most competitively priced attorney handling second parent adoptions in the area.
In the District of Columbia and throughout the state of Maryland and now Virginia, gay and lesbian individuals— both single individuals and couples— are eligible to adopt through an agency, foster care or through a private placement adoption.
For clients finalizing in Baltimore City, click this link to get directions. http://www.baltocts.sailorsite.net/about/direction.html