The state of Oregon recognizes same-sex marriages in the same way as heterosexual couples. However, when it comes to having children and securing the rights should the couple divorce, same-sex couples face unique challenges. A second parent adoption is one way partners can ensure they have the right to see their non-biological children.

Basic Rights Oregon state that a second parent adoption provides the non-biological parent with parental rights recognized nationally. This is important should the couple or spouse move outside of the state into one that does not recognize the validity of the marriage. Oregon has recognized second parent adoption for many years.

There are many reasons to obtain a second parent adoption. A parent’s name on the birth certificate only provides parental evidence. A second parent adoption provides the non-biological parent legal status that can be helpful in court cases regardless of state. The adoption ensures that sperm donors cannot claim parental rights at a later date as well.

The Human Rights Campaign states that a second parent adoption “grants adoptive parents the same rights as biological parents in custody and visitation matters.” This can be especially helpful should the couple divorce or separate.

Filing for a second parent adoption confers legal rights to the non-biological parent that a court of law recognizes. Legally adopting the child can help resolve custody disputes and ensure the non-biological parent still has access to see their child. The court may also look at the child’s relationship with both parents, primary caregiver status and any other agreements the couple entered into before determining who receives custody.