With Trump officially sworn in as the 45 President of the United States; many are running to their local family lawyer. Why? Because parentage rights may be in question. In Washington State one parent is considered the biological parent of the child and the other presumptive parent. This can get complicated for same-sex couples.
Couples shouldn't wait for the administration to change that parental rights. In this piece from ABC news one couple explains why they chose to move forwards with adoption; wanting a decree of parentage to ensure their rights to their children.
The Washington State Statue, RCW 26.26.116 spells out that in a domestic partnership or marriage the person married to the mother or father of the child is presumed to be the parent of that child. If your wife has a baby, you as the other wife, would be the presumed parent; but that doesn't legally make you a parent in every jurisdiction. Presumption of parenthood isn't the same as legal parenthood; and couples are advised to confirm their legal rights in the wake of the new administration.
Under the Supreme Court Case decided in 2015, Obergefeell v. Hodges, all states were required to recognize same sex marriages and requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex validly performed in other jurisdictions. Under current law, you may be presumed to be the parent; but will other states recognize this presumption in the future?
As the National Center for Lesbian Rights articulates “Regardless of whether you are married or in a civil union or comprehensive domestic partnership, NCLR always encourages non-biological and non-adoptive parents to get an adoption or parentage judgment, even if you are named on your child's birth certificate.” Second parent adoption is the most common way that non-biological parents may seek legal parental rights. You cannot presume just because you are on the birth certificate that you may have legal parental rights.
You never want your parental rights to your child to be challenged. The only way to insure your rights in the wake of this administration is to move forward with adoption of your own child. This administration is moving quickly to strip parties of rights that were previously taken for granted.
For assistance with adoption, or for guidance regarding your parental rights speak with one of our Washington State Family Law Attorneys at Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC. We provide a free consultation to help get you started.