New Creation Options for Same-Sex
Couples Under Virginia Law

Family Formation Options for Single Parents and Married Same-Sex Couples in Virginia

Assisted Reproductive Technology, Adoption and Other Legal Options AFTER Marriage Equality

As of February 2016

Family formation for singles and same-sex couples in Virginia has become much easier for same-sex married couples since marriage equality occurred in October 2014. Moreover, whether married, unmarried or single, there are a variety of options available, especially with advances in medical technology. Hopefully, with continued changes in the law, challenges to the law, and creative approaches, these options will continue to evolve and provide more legal security in family formation for single and same-sex families – including unmarried couples.

 

A. Assisted Reproductive Technology Options for Single Parents in Virginia.

(1) Single Intended Mother Uses Donor Sperm.

The simplest assisted reproductive technology method for a single parent in Virginia is when the intended mother obtains donor sperm (known or anonymous) and is artificially inseminated and carries her own child. Whether the sperm donor is known or anonymous, all that is required as far as parental rights are concerned is a very sound and comprehensive sperm donor agreement. Because many fertility clinics do not have adequate sperm donor agreements, nor any agreement at all between the donor and the recipient, it is very important for the single intended mom to protect herself by ensuring such an agreement is executed (that is, a sperm donor agreement directly between her and the donor – not just an agreement with the clinic). Important issues should be addressed such as the provision of future medical information, donor identity disclosure, donor registry, and future donor contact. Even if the donor is anonymous, it is relatively easy to have such an agreement put in place.

At birth, the intended mother is listed on the birth certificate and she lists the father as unknown.

(2) Single Parent Adoption.

Single Parent adoption is well established in Virginia law and is an option for a single male or female. Unless the adoption is of a close relative that has been in the adoptive parent’s home for at least three years, the adoptive parent will need to have a home study done. The adoptive parent can adopt within Virginia or can adopt a child from another state. Typically, the adoption is either an agency adoption or a parental (private) adoption. While single parents can adopt from foreign countries, there are a limited number of countries that will permit a single parent (as opposed to a married heterosexual couple) to adopt. Single parents also can adopt children out of foster care. All of the intricacies and legal processes of a single parent adoption are beyond the scope of this article.

(3)  Single Intended Mother Contributes Her Own Egg and Uses a Gestational Carrier.

Virginia’s surrogacy statute, Virginia Code section 20-156, et. seq., Status of Children of Assisted Conception, only applies to married intended parents using a gestational carrier. Arguably the statute is unconstitutional as discriminatory based on marital status. However, it has not yet been challenged. Moreover, because there is no statutory or case law prohibition on a single intended parent using a gestational carrier or surrogate, single parents can still utilize a gestational carrier in Virginia.

In such an event, the intended mother and the gestational carrier enter into a gestational carrier agreement. Notably, the enforceability of such an agreement in Virginia is not clear. Also a comprehensive sperm donor agreement should be executed as discussed above in Part A(1). DNA testing must be conducted after the birth to confirm that the intended mother is the genetic mother. Then, by utilizing Virginia’s Parentage Act, found at Virginia Code section 20-49, et. seq., an Order of Parentage can be obtained after the birth. Such an order finds that the intended mother is the legal and genetic mother and orders that her name be placed on the birth certificate.

Provided that an acceptable, comprehensive sperm donor agreement was executed (this is a very important and a necessary document to the parentage proceedings), the sperm donor will have no parental rights and, after the Order of Parentage is entered, the birth certificate will list only the single intended mother as the parent. Of course this is an evolving area of the law and further is dependent on the particular court. However, this author successfully has obtained several of such parentage orders to date and there is no reason for the court to refuse to enter the order provided all parties are in agreement.

(4) Single Intended Mother Does Not Use Her Own Eggs (is Not Genetically Related) and Uses a True Surrogate or a Gestational   Carrier Who Carries Donor Eggs.

If the intended mother’s egg is not used – but, instead the carrier contributes her own egg (defined as a “true surrogate”) with donor sperm or carries donor egg combined with donor sperm (or a donated embryo), and the child is born in Virginia, then a single parent adoption must be performed after the birth as set out in section (2) above. If donor egg and/or donor sperm is used, again, as previously stated, separate comprehensive donor agreements must be entered into between the donor and the recipient. These documents oftentimes must be incorporated into subsequent court proceedings.

Prior to the insemination or embryo transfer, the intended mother enters into a surrogate or gestational carrier agreement with the surrogate/carrier. Again, as previously noted, the enforceability of such an agreement in Virginia is unclear. Moreover, because the intended mother is not genetically related to the child, these situations are very risky as the intended mother may have limited recourse should the surrogate or carrier breach the contract and decide to keep the child. So long as the surrogate or carrier is committed to the process, a single parent adoption needs to take place after the birth.

(5) Single Intended Father Uses His Own Sperm With Donor Egg and a Gestational Carrier.

Situations involving a single intended father using a gestational carrier with donor egg and his own sperm where the child is born in Virginia are possible but also risky in terms of the enforceability of the outcome. Again, a gestational carrier agreement is executed. While Virginia’s statute on “Status of Children of Assisted Conception” only recognizes “intended parents” defined in the statue as a husband and wife in a carrier or surrogate arrangement, there is no express prohibition on single people using a carrier and arguably the statute is unconstitutional as discriminatory on the basis of marital status.

At birth, if the intended father’s sperm is used, and the gestational carrier is unmarried, then the gestational carrier easily can place the intended father’s name on the birth certificate. If the carrier is married, she may choose to list the father as unknown or may try to name the intended father who also must sign an acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital. However, hospital policies vary on their interpretation of whether a married mother can list someone other than her husband on the birth certificate application in which event the hospital will have to be convinced by pre-birth DNA testing or by a doctor’s affidavit or by an Acknowledgement of Paternity signed by both the carrier and the Intended Father.

If the intended father is not permitted by the hospital to be listed, then DNA testing can be done to establish that the intended father is the genetic father and the carrier’s husband is not the genetic father. Then Virginia’s parentage act can be utilized to obtain an Order of Parentage establishing that the intended father is the legal and genetic father. However, even though one of the foregoing routes can be used to get the genetic intended father on the birth certificate in Virginia, the problem is then getting the gestational carrier off the birth certificate and otherwise ensuring that any parental rights or responsibilities she has for the child are extinguished. If donor egg is used, in theory it should be legally possible to utilize DNA testing to establish that the carrier is not the genetic parent and use Virginia’s Parentage Act to get an Order of Non-Parentage entered. Technically, the failure of the court to do so violates the Equal Protection Clauses of both the Commonwealth of Virginia Constitution (Va. Const. art. I, § 1) and the U.S. Constitution (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1) since a man can get relief via DNA testing in conjunction with Virginia’s Parentage Act to get off the birth certificate and relieve himself of parental responsibility. It therefore follows that a woman should be able to do so as well. The first court this author tried this process with in 2011 refused to enter the Order of Non-Parentage. In that case the clients did not want to pursue the matter further as they were a same-sex male couple who could do a second parent adoption in Washington D.C. to remove the carrier from the birth certificate and place the second father on it instead. At the time of this writing (February 2016), this author has been successful in one case in Henrico Circuit Court in having a court in Virginia enter an Order of Non-Parentage as well as the removal of the carrier’s name from the birth certificate.

In sum, a safe known route at this time in Virginia is for the single dad to do a single parent adoption (it may sound strange for a genetic father to have to adopt his own child and the judges in these cases seem to find it amusing). And hopefully the less intrusive (no home study required) Order of Non-parentage route will gain traction.

(6) Single Intended Father Uses a True Surrogate (Who Contributes Her Own Egg) with His Own Sperm or Donor Sperm.

It is possible in Virginia for a single intended father to use a true surrogate (meaning that she is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm). Again, if donor sperm is used, then a comprehensive sperm donor agreement should be obtained. Prior to artificial insemination, the intended father and the surrogate would enter into a surrogacy agreement (again the enforceability of which is unclear). If the child is born in Virginia, the only established legal route after birth that vests parental rights solely in the father, extinguishes the parental rights of the surrogate, and places the intended father’s name on the birth certificate, is to do a single parent adoption. This is a very risky option because if the surrogate changes her mind and refuses to transfer custody of the child to the intended father, then even where the intended father was the genetic father, at best he would have a custody case and would end up with some sort of custody and/or visitation arrangement with the surrogate as well as in all likelihood a child support obligation. If he was not the genetic father (which would be the case if he used donor sperm), then in all likelihood (depending on the court), he would have no rights to the child whatsoever.

(7)  Intended Parent or Carrier Live in Another State or Child is Born in a State Other Than Virginia.

If either the single intended parent or the carrier resides in another state – then other options offered by the other state should be considered and, if possible, utilized to accomplish the objectives of the parties. Moreover, whether the child can be born in another state that has more advantageous laws also should be evaluated.

 

B. Assisted Reproductive Technology Options for Married Same-Sex Parents in Virginia

(1) Same-Sex Married Male Couple Using a Carrier in Virginia.

Since marriage equality, even if Virginia’s surrogacy statute is not expressly revised, it should be interpreted to apply to same-sex married male couples just as it would for a heterosexual married couple. Accordingly, for a same-sex married male couple, they now should be able to jointly contract with a surrogate or gestational carrier and use the birth certificate amendment administrative process post-birth as well. At birth, the hospital should honor the gestational carrier agreement as the hospital would for a married heterosexual arrangement.

An alternative route – which was the prior way in which parentage would be addressed before marriage equality – is for DNA testing to be done to establish that the intended father is the genetic father and the carrier’s husband (if married) is not the genetic father. Then Virginia’s parentage act is utilized to obtain an Order of Parentage establishing that the intended father is the legal and genetic father. Moreover, a step-parent adoption now can be done in conjunction with the Parentage Order for a same-sex married couple.

(2) Same-Sex Married Female Couple Where One of the Females Carries the Child and Uses Her Own Egg and Donor Sperm.

Where one half of the couple uses her own egg and donor sperm and delivers the child in Virginia, provided that a proper comprehensive sperm donor agreement has been executed, absent any other action, she will be the sole genetic and legal parent of the child. However, a hospital form issued by the Virginia Department of Vital records in January 2015 now permits the gestational mother and her wife in such a situation to both be listed on the birth certificate. Since being listed on the birth certificate alone is not a guarantee of legal parentage, and can be challenged since it is only administrative in nature and not a judicial order, the married couple also should do a step-parent adoption.

(3) Same Sex Female Couple where one Female “Contributes” Her Egg to the Other to Carry.

Where one half of the couple contributes her egg to the other partner to carry with donor sperm, again a clear sperm donor agreement and release should be obtained. The genetic mother needs to be very clear in any agreements with the fertility clinic that she does not intend to be a donor (which arguably would preclude her from having any parental rights) but that she intends via her contribution to be a parent. Most fertility clinic documents need to be revised for these situations.

In addition, as between the partners, the gestational and genetic moms should enter into a Parenting and Non-Donor Agreement so that the intent to jointly and equally parent is abundantly clear.

Upon birth, the moms have two options: to use the Parentage Act and DNA testing to establish that the genetic parent is a legal parent along with the gestational parent or to do a step-parent adoption. The downside to a step-parent adoption is that the Court has the discretion to enter an Order of Reference requiring the Department of Social Services to do an investigation and report. The cost of this can be assessed against the family. Given the intrusion and cost, as well as the fact that some parents prefer the concept of a legal parentage route over a step-parent adoption route, the parentage route may be a preferable option (despite the cost of DNA testing). Moreover, the parentage route arguably can be used if the lesbian couple is not married.

(4)  Same-Sex Married Female Couple Who Use a Surrogate or Gestational Carrier.

Because usually one of the two same-sex female partners is capable of carrying a child, it is a very rare situation whereby they would need to use a third party carrier. However, such situations sometimes do arise. In such event, if one of the partners is donating her egg, then the situation should be treated the same as where a married heterosexual couple uses a gestational carrier or where a married gay couple uses a gestational carrier as discussed above in Part A(1).

 

C. Adoption Options for Same-Sex Couples in Virginia

Since marriage equality, a married same-sex couple can do an adoption together now just as a married heterosexual couple would. In addition, the married same-sex couple can do a step-parent adoption.

Same-sex married couples also can adopt together in another state that recognizes same-sex placements and return to Virginia with the child. If they adopt in a state that only allows one of them to adopt, then they can do a step-parent adoption upon their return to Virginia with the child.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Colleen Marea Quinn

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, Colleen Marea Quinn at Locke & Quinn, P.O. Box 11708, Richmond, VA 23230 or email quinn@lockequinn.com.


RICHMOND: 804-285-6253
CONTACT US

Family Formation Options for Single Parents and Married Same-Sex Couples in Virginia


Assisted Reproductive Technology, Adoption and Other Legal Options AFTER Marriage Equality

As of February 2016

Family formation for singles and same-sex couples in Virginia has become much easier for same-sex married couples since marriage equality occurred in October 2014. Moreover, whether married, unmarried or single, there are a variety of options available, especially with advances in medical technology. Hopefully, with continued changes in the law, challenges to the law, and creative approaches, these options will continue to evolve and provide more legal security in family formation for single and same-sex families – including unmarried couples.

 

A. Assisted Reproductive Technology Options for Single Parents in Virginia.

(1) Single Intended Mother Uses Donor Sperm.

The simplest assisted reproductive technology method for a single parent in Virginia is when the intended mother obtains donor sperm (known or anonymous) and is artificially inseminated and carries her own child. Whether the sperm donor is known or anonymous, all that is required as far as parental rights are concerned is a very sound and comprehensive sperm donor agreement. Because many fertility clinics do not have adequate sperm donor agreements, nor any agreement at all between the donor and the recipient, it is very important for the single intended mom to protect herself by ensuring such an agreement is executed (that is, a sperm donor agreement directly between her and the donor – not just an agreement with the clinic). Important issues should be addressed such as the provision of future medical information, donor identity disclosure, donor registry, and future donor contact. Even if the donor is anonymous, it is relatively easy to have such an agreement put in place.

At birth, the intended mother is listed on the birth certificate and she lists the father as unknown.

(2) Single Parent Adoption.

Single Parent adoption is well established in Virginia law and is an option for a single male or female. Unless the adoption is of a close relative that has been in the adoptive parent’s home for at least three years, the adoptive parent will need to have a home study done. The adoptive parent can adopt within Virginia or can adopt a child from another state. Typically, the adoption is either an agency adoption or a parental (private) adoption. While single parents can adopt from foreign countries, there are a limited number of countries that will permit a single parent (as opposed to a married heterosexual couple) to adopt. Single parents also can adopt children out of foster care. All of the intricacies and legal processes of a single parent adoption are beyond the scope of this article.

(3)  Single Intended Mother Contributes Her Own Egg and Uses a Gestational Carrier.

Virginia’s surrogacy statute, Virginia Code section 20-156, et. seq., Status of Children of Assisted Conception, only applies to married intended parents using a gestational carrier. Arguably the statute is unconstitutional as discriminatory based on marital status. However, it has not yet been challenged. Moreover, because there is no statutory or case law prohibition on a single intended parent using a gestational carrier or surrogate, single parents can still utilize a gestational carrier in Virginia.

In such an event, the intended mother and the gestational carrier enter into a gestational carrier agreement. Notably, the enforceability of such an agreement in Virginia is not clear. Also a comprehensive sperm donor agreement should be executed as discussed above in Part A(1). DNA testing must be conducted after the birth to confirm that the intended mother is the genetic mother. Then, by utilizing Virginia’s Parentage Act, found at Virginia Code section 20-49, et. seq., an Order of Parentage can be obtained after the birth. Such an order finds that the intended mother is the legal and genetic mother and orders that her name be placed on the birth certificate.

Provided that an acceptable, comprehensive sperm donor agreement was executed (this is a very important and a necessary document to the parentage proceedings), the sperm donor will have no parental rights and, after the Order of Parentage is entered, the birth certificate will list only the single intended mother as the parent. Of course this is an evolving area of the law and further is dependent on the particular court. However, this author successfully has obtained several of such parentage orders to date and there is no reason for the court to refuse to enter the order provided all parties are in agreement.

(4) Single Intended Mother Does Not Use Her Own Eggs (is Not Genetically Related) and Uses a True Surrogate or a Gestational   Carrier Who Carries Donor Eggs.

If the intended mother’s egg is not used – but, instead the carrier contributes her own egg (defined as a “true surrogate”) with donor sperm or carries donor egg combined with donor sperm (or a donated embryo), and the child is born in Virginia, then a single parent adoption must be performed after the birth as set out in section (2) above. If donor egg and/or donor sperm is used, again, as previously stated, separate comprehensive donor agreements must be entered into between the donor and the recipient. These documents oftentimes must be incorporated into subsequent court proceedings.

Prior to the insemination or embryo transfer, the intended mother enters into a surrogate or gestational carrier agreement with the surrogate/carrier. Again, as previously noted, the enforceability of such an agreement in Virginia is unclear. Moreover, because the intended mother is not genetically related to the child, these situations are very risky as the intended mother may have limited recourse should the surrogate or carrier breach the contract and decide to keep the child. So long as the surrogate or carrier is committed to the process, a single parent adoption needs to take place after the birth.

(5) Single Intended Father Uses His Own Sperm With Donor Egg and a Gestational Carrier.

Situations involving a single intended father using a gestational carrier with donor egg and his own sperm where the child is born in Virginia are possible but also risky in terms of the enforceability of the outcome. Again, a gestational carrier agreement is executed. While Virginia’s statute on “Status of Children of Assisted Conception” only recognizes “intended parents” defined in the statue as a husband and wife in a carrier or surrogate arrangement, there is no express prohibition on single people using a carrier and arguably the statute is unconstitutional as discriminatory on the basis of marital status.

At birth, if the intended father’s sperm is used, and the gestational carrier is unmarried, then the gestational carrier easily can place the intended father’s name on the birth certificate. If the carrier is married, she may choose to list the father as unknown or may try to name the intended father who also must sign an acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital. However, hospital policies vary on their interpretation of whether a married mother can list someone other than her husband on the birth certificate application in which event the hospital will have to be convinced by pre-birth DNA testing or by a doctor’s affidavit or by an Acknowledgement of Paternity signed by both the carrier and the Intended Father.

If the intended father is not permitted by the hospital to be listed, then DNA testing can be done to establish that the intended father is the genetic father and the carrier’s husband is not the genetic father. Then Virginia’s parentage act can be utilized to obtain an Order of Parentage establishing that the intended father is the legal and genetic father. However, even though one of the foregoing routes can be used to get the genetic intended father on the birth certificate in Virginia, the problem is then getting the gestational carrier off the birth certificate and otherwise ensuring that any parental rights or responsibilities she has for the child are extinguished. If donor egg is used, in theory it should be legally possible to utilize DNA testing to establish that the carrier is not the genetic parent and use Virginia’s Parentage Act to get an Order of Non-Parentage entered. Technically, the failure of the court to do so violates the Equal Protection Clauses of both the Commonwealth of Virginia Constitution (Va. Const. art. I, § 1) and the U.S. Constitution (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1) since a man can get relief via DNA testing in conjunction with Virginia’s Parentage Act to get off the birth certificate and relieve himself of parental responsibility. It therefore follows that a woman should be able to do so as well. The first court this author tried this process with in 2011 refused to enter the Order of Non-Parentage. In that case the clients did not want to pursue the matter further as they were a same-sex male couple who could do a second parent adoption in Washington D.C. to remove the carrier from the birth certificate and place the second father on it instead. At the time of this writing (February 2016), this author has been successful in one case in Henrico Circuit Court in having a court in Virginia enter an Order of Non-Parentage as well as the removal of the carrier’s name from the birth certificate.

In sum, a safe known route at this time in Virginia is for the single dad to do a single parent adoption (it may sound strange for a genetic father to have to adopt his own child and the judges in these cases seem to find it amusing). And hopefully the less intrusive (no home study required) Order of Non-parentage route will gain traction.

(6) Single Intended Father Uses a True Surrogate (Who Contributes Her Own Egg) with His Own Sperm or Donor Sperm.

It is possible in Virginia for a single intended father to use a true surrogate (meaning that she is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm). Again, if donor sperm is used, then a comprehensive sperm donor agreement should be obtained. Prior to artificial insemination, the intended father and the surrogate would enter into a surrogacy agreement (again the enforceability of which is unclear). If the child is born in Virginia, the only established legal route after birth that vests parental rights solely in the father, extinguishes the parental rights of the surrogate, and places the intended father’s name on the birth certificate, is to do a single parent adoption. This is a very risky option because if the surrogate changes her mind and refuses to transfer custody of the child to the intended father, then even where the intended father was the genetic father, at best he would have a custody case and would end up with some sort of custody and/or visitation arrangement with the surrogate as well as in all likelihood a child support obligation. If he was not the genetic father (which would be the case if he used donor sperm), then in all likelihood (depending on the court), he would have no rights to the child whatsoever.

(7)  Intended Parent or Carrier Live in Another State or Child is Born in a State Other Than Virginia.

If either the single intended parent or the carrier resides in another state – then other options offered by the other state should be considered and, if possible, utilized to accomplish the objectives of the parties. Moreover, whether the child can be born in another state that has more advantageous laws also should be evaluated.

 

B. Assisted Reproductive Technology Options for Married Same-Sex Parents in Virginia

(1) Same-Sex Married Male Couple Using a Carrier in Virginia.

Since marriage equality, even if Virginia’s surrogacy statute is not expressly revised, it should be interpreted to apply to same-sex married male couples just as it would for a heterosexual married couple. Accordingly, for a same-sex married male couple, they now should be able to jointly contract with a surrogate or gestational carrier and use the birth certificate amendment administrative process post-birth as well. At birth, the hospital should honor the gestational carrier agreement as the hospital would for a married heterosexual arrangement.

An alternative route – which was the prior way in which parentage would be addressed before marriage equality – is for DNA testing to be done to establish that the intended father is the genetic father and the carrier’s husband (if married) is not the genetic father. Then Virginia’s parentage act is utilized to obtain an Order of Parentage establishing that the intended father is the legal and genetic father. Moreover, a step-parent adoption now can be done in conjunction with the Parentage Order for a same-sex married couple.

(2) Same-Sex Married Female Couple Where One of the Females Carries the Child and Uses Her Own Egg and Donor Sperm.

Where one half of the couple uses her own egg and donor sperm and delivers the child in Virginia, provided that a proper comprehensive sperm donor agreement has been executed, absent any other action, she will be the sole genetic and legal parent of the child. However, a hospital form issued by the Virginia Department of Vital records in January 2015 now permits the gestational mother and her wife in such a situation to both be listed on the birth certificate. Since being listed on the birth certificate alone is not a guarantee of legal parentage, and can be challenged since it is only administrative in nature and not a judicial order, the married couple also should do a step-parent adoption.

(3) Same Sex Female Couple where one Female “Contributes” Her Egg to the Other to Carry.

Where one half of the couple contributes her egg to the other partner to carry with donor sperm, again a clear sperm donor agreement and release should be obtained. The genetic mother needs to be very clear in any agreements with the fertility clinic that she does not intend to be a donor (which arguably would preclude her from having any parental rights) but that she intends via her contribution to be a parent. Most fertility clinic documents need to be revised for these situations.

In addition, as between the partners, the gestational and genetic moms should enter into a Parenting and Non-Donor Agreement so that the intent to jointly and equally parent is abundantly clear.

Upon birth, the moms have two options: to use the Parentage Act and DNA testing to establish that the genetic parent is a legal parent along with the gestational parent or to do a step-parent adoption. The downside to a step-parent adoption is that the Court has the discretion to enter an Order of Reference requiring the Department of Social Services to do an investigation and report. The cost of this can be assessed against the family. Given the intrusion and cost, as well as the fact that some parents prefer the concept of a legal parentage route over a step-parent adoption route, the parentage route may be a preferable option (despite the cost of DNA testing). Moreover, the parentage route arguably can be used if the lesbian couple is not married.

(4)  Same-Sex Married Female Couple Who Use a Surrogate or Gestational Carrier.

Because usually one of the two same-sex female partners is capable of carrying a child, it is a very rare situation whereby they would need to use a third party carrier. However, such situations sometimes do arise. In such event, if one of the partners is donating her egg, then the situation should be treated the same as where a married heterosexual couple uses a gestational carrier or where a married gay couple uses a gestational carrier as discussed above in Part A(1).

 

C. Adoption Options for Same-Sex Couples in Virginia

Since marriage equality, a married same-sex couple can do an adoption together now just as a married heterosexual couple would. In addition, the married same-sex couple can do a step-parent adoption.

Same-sex married couples also can adopt together in another state that recognizes same-sex placements and return to Virginia with the child. If they adopt in a state that only allows one of them to adopt, then they can do a step-parent adoption upon their return to Virginia with the child.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Colleen Marea Quinn

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, Colleen Marea Quinn at Locke & Quinn, P.O. Box 11708, Richmond, VA 23230 or email quinn@lockequinn.com.

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