DC Expands Adoption Rights for Lesbian Couples

This is a guest post written by Michele Zavos of Zavos Juncker Law Group. She can be reached at [email protected]. Good News for Lesbian Couples Raising Children in Virginia! The District of Columbia recently passed a new law allowing adoptions to take place in the District if a child is born in the District!  The original D.C. Parentage Act was passed in 2009, and gave lesbian couples who are married, registered as Domestic Partners in D.C., or who sign a Consent to Parent, parental rights to their child, if the child is born in the District. However, the D.C. law almost certainly would not be recognized by Virginia. That law has now been amended to allow such couples to obtain an adoption in the District or a Judgment of Parentage, based solely on the birth of the child in the District of Columbia. The new law takes effect on March 22, 2013. That means that lesbian couples who gave birth to a child in the District of Columbia after July 1, 2009 will be able to obtain a second-parent adoption in D.C., and the Commonwealth of Virginia and the federal government should recognize the adoption for all purposes. Unfortunately, for now this new law may not apply to children born through surrogacy as surrogacy is illegal in the District of Columbia. We are happy to talk with anyone who may be interested in obtaining an adoption or Judgment of Parentage under the new law. Our firm practices LGBT Family Law in both D.C. and Virginia and we have completed hundreds of adoptions in the District. We helped the D.C. City Council pass this new law.
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