Adoption Process for a second Parent

Second parent adoption is becoming a more common occurrence. It gives same sex parents an option to have rights without the other partner relinquishing rights. It is not been made law in all states, but many have been granted and many are in the court system currently.

One of the first things to do when petitioning is to learn the terms necessary.
Petition – This is the document that officially begins the adoption request.
Respondent  – The respondent is the person who files a response Petition for the Second Parent Adoption.

Petitioner – The persons or person who is filing for the Petition of Adoption.
Service of Process – The petition is to be served or given to any party that has an interest in the adoption.

Return date – This is the date by which the Respondent must file an answer.  The date is listed on the summons when the respondent is served.
May – In legal terms may means that it is an option or can.
Shall – In legal terms shall means that it is legally require.

It is important to understand that documentation, filing and responding is all time sensitive.  There are limits and restrictions.  Each state has specific rules, guides and deadlines.  The information found here are general guidelines and not state specific.

These are some things the petitioner can prepare before the official petitioner document is filed.  This is information the court will need and it is better to have it prepared and at the ready.

If the prospective parent has been convicted of specific crimes, either as a misdemeanor or felony, they need to provide a statement of explanation to the court. These include:

*child abuse

*child neglect

*violation of a protective/restraining order

*crime against a child

*domestic violence

*felony involving drugs, with in the past five years

*any crime involving rape, homicide or sexual assault

*felony  involving battery

The adoption process requires finger printing and a criminal history record check.  A petitioner is responsible for the payment and ordering of information. It must be specified the reason is for that of potential adoption. It may take up to 13 weeks to process and the it must be conducted with 90 days of filing.  
Each state will have a slightly different set of forms that are required to be completed.  The fees must be paid or the documentation will not be processed.  

Typically complete packet, including a fee list and documentation requirements can be down loaded at the state website.

There are adoption attorneys that can help with the process.  It will raise the cost.

sources:
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/

http://www.hrc.org/issues/2385.htm

http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/10/672867/second-parent-adoption-reviewed.html