Same-Sex Couple Adoption FAQs
Can a parent of a same-sex couple adopt their step-child?
Absolutely! In Oklahoma, same-sex married parents/step-parents have the same rights and privileges as a heterosexual couple. The process and requirements for a step-parent adoption are the same for everyone.
How long must my partner and I be married before I can adopt my step-child?
Technically, there is no minimum time requirement to be married before you may petition the court for a step-parent adoption. However, if you have been married for less than one year at the time of your petition, then you are required to do a home study prior to the court granting an adoption. This is more costly and takes a little longer. We recommend waiting until you have been married for at least one year before filing your petition.
Can I adopt my step-child if my partner and I are engaged but not yet married?
No. Regardless of whether it is same-sex marriage or not, you must be married to adopt your partner’s child. Legally speaking, it is not your step-child until you are married, so a step-parent adoption cannot proceed until that happens first.
Can I adopt my step-child if my partner and I are common-law married?
Yes, but in Oklahoma, it is a bit more complicated for all common law married couples, regardless of whether it is same-sex marriage or not. Oklahoma recognizes common-law marriages, so you can adopt your step-child by law. However, since there is no formal legal documentation of the start of the marriage, you will have to present additional evidence to the judge to show a common law marriage actually exists and not just a long-term dating relationship.
My same-sex partner and I planned our child together, but our child was born before we married, and I have no biological connection with the child. Do I need to adopt the child to be legally mine?
NO. You have all the same rights as a natural biological parent regardless of any biological connection.
If I adopt my step-child and my partner and I later divorced, am I still their legal parent?
Yes. Once an adoption is finalized, the laws in Oklahoma view you (the adoptive step-parent) the same as if the child was biologically yours. You have all the same rights as any other parent in a divorce proceeding. That does not guarantee custody/visitation in the case of divorce. That’s a whole other mess best left for discussion with a divorce attorney.