A second parent adoption is a legal procedure that allows a same-sex parent to adopt a partner’s biological or adoptive child without terminating the legal rights of the first parent. States must honor second-parent adoptions from other states.
Second-parent adoption is authorized in California by statute – and where appellate courts have ruled that the state adoption law permits second-parent adoption.
A statute is a law passed by a legislature. An appellate court is about appeals. It has the power to review the judgment of another lower court or tribunal.
Second-parent adoption is authorized by statute in Colorado, Connecticut, and Vermont.
Appellate courts have ruled that the state adoption law permits second-parent adoption in the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Trial courts have granted second-parent adoptions in Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.
Appellate courts have ruled that state adoption law does NOT permit second-parent adoption in Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
It is unclear in the following 22 states whether the state adoption law permits second- parent adoptions: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.