Interstate recognition of same-sex adoptive parents

Joanna Grossman, professor of law at Hofstra Law School, explores some possible hardships faced by lesbian and gay adoptive parents in a legal commentary for FindLaw.

Grossman cites two recent cases – one from New York and one from Florida – as powerful reminders of the potential conflicts created by states’ taking different approaches to the legal recognition of GLBT parenting.

Grossman warns, “While the legal landscape has developed in a much more tolerant way for same-sex parenting than it has for same-sex marriage, significant obstacles remain, particularly when co-parents split and relocate.

“The basic legal questions raised by same-sex parenting range from whether someone can adopt the biological child of a same-sex partner, to whether a same-sex spouse is entitled to a presumption of parentage for children born to the other during the marriage, to whether a same-sex couple can jointly adopt a child that is biologically related to neither of them. These legal issues have been actively litigated in many states, producing a patchwork of rules that vary from state to state.”

Joanna Grossman, a FindLaw columnist, is a professor of law at Hofstra University. She contributes columns on family law, trusts and estates, and discrimination, including sex discrimination and sexual harassment.