Adoption for Same-Sex Couples in Connecticut

Connecticut Law on Same Sex and Co-Parent Adoption

On October 1, 2000, Connecticut signed into law Public Act 00-228, amending C.G.S.A. § 45a-724, which created a legal process for Lesbian Adoption“second parent adoption.”  This law allows an existing parent (biological or adoptive) to agree to the adoption of his/her child by another person “who shares parental responsibility for the child.”  Under this legislation, your same-gender partner may become a second parent to your child.

The Connecticut adoption process falls under the jurisdiction of the Probate Courts.  If you have entered into a valid marriage or civil union, your partner may become a Step-parent to your child; your partner may become a co-parent if you have or not entered into marriage by filing with the Probate Court.

Some of the advantages of co-parent or step-parent adoption (“second parent adoption”), from a legal standpoint, are:

  • The child will have two legal parents for all purposes
  • The co-parent or step-parent will not need special permission to seek medical care for the child or to attend school meetings.
  • The co-parent or step-parent will have the legal ability to make decision for the child in both emergency and day-to-day matters.
  • If one parent dies, the other parent will will automatically assume custody of the child.
  • The child would have the automatic right to inherit from the deceased parent even if there is no will.
  • In the event of a separation of the couple or a dissolution of their marriage or civil union, a Court will base its decision on what is in the best interest of the child rather than on which parent is the legal parent.  Both parents would have the right to custody and visitation.

If You Use A KNOWN Sperm Donor:
It is important to understand that if the sperm donor is known to you, he is considered the legal father of the child until such time that the Probate Court issues a decree (order) to terminate his parental rights (whether or not you list his name on the child’s birth certificate).  This procedure must occur before an adoption petition can be heard by a Probate judge.  Please consult a licensed attorney before inseminating with the sperm of a known donor to understand the specifics of this legal procedure.

Click To Read Known Sperm Donors and the Same-Sex Couple Adoption Process 

Below find answers to some commonly asked questions on Co-Parent adoption in Connecticut:

Do We Have to Be Residents of Connecticut in Order to Do Our Adoption Here?
Yes.  In order for a Connecticut Probate Court to have jurisdiction over the adoption, you, your same-sex spouse or partner, and the child must be residents of the State of Connecticut.

What if We Were Married (or Had a Civil Union) in Connecticut but Live in Another State?
The Connecticut residency requirement still applies.

What if I Gave Birth in Connecticut but We Live in Another State?
The Connecticut residency requirement still applies.

You might also be interested in: 

Pre/Postnuptial Agreements and Property Contracts
Connecticut Marriage Guidelines
FAQ: Wills & Testamentary Trusts
Living Wills and Other Documents
Requirements for Dissolving (terminating) a Marriage or Civil Union

Disclaimer:  The information presented here is only meant to offer a brief guide to the adoption law in Connecticut as it applies to gay and lesbian couples.  It is not and should not be construed as legal advice.   Questions about your individual circumstances should be discussed with a licensed attorney.  A Connecticut  lawyer at  Gryk & Frolich LLC is available to assist you in the co-parent or step-parent adoption process.