Leimberg Report: Massachussetts Case Re Same Sex Couple’s Adoption

The following notable update was posted on Leimberg for the week of May 31-June 6, 2015:

  • Cynthia Hearing: Adoption of a Minor: Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Reverses Probate and Family Court Decision Denying Lesbian Couple’s Motion to Adopt in Same-Sex Marriage Case. (Estate Planning Newsletter). In Adoption of a Minor, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts reversed a lower court interlocutory order denying a Motion to Adopt a child absent notice to the child’s sperm donor. While recognizing petitioners as the child’s legal parents, the lower court reserved to the Appeals court the question of whether the child’s lawful parents must give notice to the known biological father/sperm donor pursuant to Massachusetts’ law.  This case illustrates that, despite the legal recognition of same-sex couples to marry in the majority of states, many such couples chose to adopt their children to ensure recognition of their parentage in case they relocate or travel to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages. This case demonstrates that, where a child has been conceived through assisted reproductive technology, a same-sex married couple should not assume they may adopt their children absent obtaining consent and providing notice to any other party. From an attorney’s perspective, a careful analysis of both statutory and case law is critical to determine the extent to which consent and notice of a petition for adoption must be provided to a known sperm donor.

See full Leimberg Report at Leimberg Information Services.

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.