New Jersey’s laws protect same-sex couples from discrimination in the adoption process. Same-sex couples have the same rights to adopt as any other couple in the state. For some, this means going through a traditional adoption process, but others choose to bring a child into the family using artificial insemination.
Artificial insemination makes one of the parents a biological parent, with the rights of a biological parent. However, the other partner will not have parental rights without adoption. There are two possibilities for the non-biological parent to adopt.
In many cases, the non-biological parent seeks primary parent adoption. This form of adoption eliminates the parental rights of the biological parent volunteering as a donor or surrogate.
The courts will not automatically terminate biological parental rights in same-sex adoption cases where the couple uses artificial insemination with a donor or surrogate. The donor or surrogate must voluntarily give up parental rights.
The second arrangement is the same adoption arrangement families use when parents divorce and a stepparent wants parental rights. New Jersey allows second-parent adoptions.
In this scenario, the biological parent serving as the donor or surrogate remains a part of the child’s life and does not forfeit parental rights. Instead, second-parent adoption gives the non-biological partner parenting rights while still recognizing the biological parent’s rights.
All parties need to agree to the terms of the arrangement before proceeding with artificial insemination. Drawing up legal agreements reduces the possibility of stressful and costly legal battles. Then, when the child is born, the three parties are prepared the take the necessary steps to complete the legal adoption process.