There is more than one way to become a parent, and as many Kentucky residents have found, the road to parenthood is not always through biology. However, some parental rights might not necessarily be protected under the law if there is no biological bond. One option that is available to parents to ensure those parental rights are protected is through second-parent adoption.
Second-parent adoptions can take months and be quite invasive as well as costly. But while the traditional adoption process usually involves couples that have no biological bond to the child, a second-parent adoption is an option often chosen by same-sex couples, even when both parents' names are on the child's birth certificate. It can include blood tests, fingerprinting, background checks and a home study. Some parents describe the process as humiliating and frustrating.
However, the process also provides legal protection for the parent without the biological bond in case there are child custody issues later on if a separation or divorce happens. In the case of the death of the biological parent, for example, it provides protection from that parents' relatives arguing a stronger claim on the child. The Supreme Court has also ruled that all states must accept a second-parent adoption that occurred in another state.
People who might be concerned with protecting their legal parental rights might consider seeking this type of an adoption. A lawyer with family law experience might provide assistance through the process, helping them fill out and file the correct documents and comply with any other requirement that might be imposed.