Massachusetts has been at the forefront of establishing equality for straight and gay families alike. Our firm (headed in this area by Attorney Karen Van Kooy) is proud to provide services to same-sex couples and blended families seeking to establish and protect their rights as a family.
Second Parent Adoptions
Second parent adoption or co-parent adoption offers great comfort and security to nontraditional families for the simple fact that the adoption process gives the child two parents, equal in legal status, each endowed with all of the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. Not only is the right to make decisions for the child in day-to-day and emergency matters protected, but should one parent die, custody of the child is not an issue.
For same-sex parents, co-parent adoption offers an added level of protection. In the case of a married same-sex couple, even though both parents are listed on the child’s birth certificate and under Massachusetts law, both are presumed to be the child’s parents, this presumption can still be challenged in court – especially in a jurisdiction outside of Massachusetts that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has provided individuals with the ability to create families where previously they could not. We provide representation to those who create families through known or anonymous sperm donors, and also to persons who serve as sperm donors to the individuals or couples building families. These agreements are customized to serve the particular interests and intents of the parties, and regulate the post-birth rights, obligations, and contacts between the parties. The aim is to clarify expectations, protect the child, and minimize conflict.