Ask the Lawyer: What Impact Does LGBT Marriage Have On Parentage in Pennsylvania – Part I?

Due to same-sex marriage being recognized in Pennsylvania, gay/lesbian parents now may be able to establish parentage of their children through marriage by the presumption of paternity (parentage) of a child born or conceived during the course of a marriage. However, this may not allot full protection for the non-biological spouse.

Prior to this development, second-parent adoptions (the adoption of a child by the unmarried partner of a biological parent with the other parent not losing parental rights) were available for same sex parents in Pennsylvania. The adoption created a legal parent and child relationship with the second parent subject to full, faith and credit from other jurisdictions, bringing with it rights and benefits such as inheritance, physical and legal custody and child support.

Presently, for same-sex couples who are married in Pennsylvania, step-parent adoptions may now be filed instead of second-parent adoptions. While many States may not recognize a parent/child relationship that is based on a birth certificate or same-sex marriage alone, every State must recognize an adoption decree and provide it with full, faith and credit.

When dealing with legal issues as a result of infertility or infertility treatments, you should speak to an attorney experienced in the knowledge of Adoption/Assisted Reproductive Technology Law. Understanding the law and your options is paramount in the forefront of your journey.

Dorota Gasienica-Kozak, Esquire,
Chair of the KingSpry Adoption/ART Law Practice Group