Second Parent Adoption

tl;dr We have a home interview scheduled for next Monday (in a week) and I have no idea what to expect. Any advice?

Way back when Lady Jr was born, we had no trouble getting both of our names on the birth certificate. Then we actually got the certificate and saw that they’d listed Dr Lady as the father. I didn’t think much of it, but then the election happened and really fucked up judges started being appointed to various circuits and Dr Lady spoke to several attorney/legal friends and, well. We decided we’d just feel a whole lot safer if Dr Lady formally adopted Lady Jr.

I’ve chaffed against the very idea the entire time because wtf, straight people don’t have to adopt their own children, but of course I don’t really have to worry about my own legal status as the biological mother, so. And said legal friends did assure us that doing so now would save a lot of potential future headache for Dr Lady if something happened to me. So, rage against the hetero-normative legal system aside, we found a lawyer, filed paperwork, and started the process.

The fun (/sarcasm) thing about adoption, even second-parent (which is what’s used for step-parents), is that they still have to over-analyze your life. So we filled out a questionnaire when we filed and now a social worker will be stopping by our home and… asking questions?

Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve tried Ye Olde Googles, but the results are heavily weighted toward straight up adoption and I don’t know if second parent is any different. Since they’ll be in the house, I’m assuming that basic safety things should be in place (and already are). Like, outlet covers and no knives on the floor. But I don’t know what might be expected beyond that. All the chemicals are out of reach, but the door to the basement remains open. I mean, we close it if she’s zipping around the house and we’re not keeping up, but there’s no gate or anything.

Mostly I just don’t know what to expect from the questions. I’m sure it’ll be fine, I can’t imagine anyone looking at my wife interacting with Lady Jr and not thinking they’re perfect, but also I don’t want to give any homophobic buttwipe an excuse to be, well, homophobic.

Anyway. Any advice/help/pointing in the right Googly direction would be appreciated.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Second Parent Adoption

  1. So I can only offer you a bit on my experience in a heterosexual adoption in the Canadian context. What I can say is that the home study process is the exact same for all couples. And the home study is really just an opportunity for a social worker to meet you and get to know you. In our circumstance they could have cared less about how the inside of our cupboards look or even where we keep a fire extinguisher. It was really just an honest conversation. They asked how we decide who gets to park their car in the garage in the winter and who has to park on the street. What are hobbies are. Who walks the dog and how often. They did ask about family with addictions/criminal backgrounds and what we will do about exposing the child to those people (i.e in our case we have an alcoholic in the family and we simply said child wouldn’t be left alone with them or exposed to them often anyways as we live far away). They asked about income and family/friends support. Basically, it wasn’t scary at all and we really liked our social worker and even send her family Christmas cards now.
    My biggest piece of advice is don’t stress too much about it because it really isn’t a big deal. That said, I completely stressed about our first one and I don’t think my house had ever been that clean.
    And I’m sorry the system is making you go through this. It’s just not right.

  2. I felt the anticipation for the home study was worse than the actual home study. The only things I didn’t think about were making sure our fire alarms all had fresh batteries and getting a carbon monoxide monitor (required in Oregon even if you don’t have natural gas in your home). I hope your experience is as minimally invasive as possible.

  3. I’m so sorry you have to do this. We were able to waive the home study in MA, given that we used anonymous donor sperm, were married when she was born, and we’re both the intended parents. Good luck, and I hope you find a way to stick it to the man while also making sure the adoption goes through

  4. I’m sorry your family has to go through this ridiculous ordeal.

  5. Amy

    I wish I could offer advice but we didn’t have anything but paperwork to do for our second parent adoption. Good luck, I hope it’s quick and easy for you 😊 (despite being infuriatingly unnecessary….).

  6. We skipped it, so I don’t have any advice. I felt pretty good about the Colorado statutes before birth, so I’m still hoping they hold up under this and future administrations.

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