Second-parent adoption is the adoption of a child by a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child. A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the "first parent" losing any parental rights. Adoptive parents usually have the same rights as biological parents in custody and visitation matters in most States that allow for this type of adoption. Second-parent adoption is not allowed in all States. In this section, you will find information about second-parent adoptions that can be relevant to many different types of families, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families. (Stepparent adoption is addressed elsewhere.)
Same-Sex Spouses Turn to Adoption to Protect Parental Rights
Discusses a same-sex married couple's journey of second-parent adoption to ensure both of their parental rights are legally protected.
Human Rights Campaign
Gives information on State laws allowing second-parent adoption.
Second-Parent Adoption in the U.S. (PDF - 634 KB)
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Provides a map indicating which States authorize second-parent adoption.