In Phoenix, a gay couple feels that they need to move to Washington D.C. in order to protect their custody rights and seek adoption of their twin daughters.

Dr. Patric and Levi Schine welcomed their daughters in December.  Patric is the biological father of their daughters and Levi sought after second-parent adoption.

However, Patric and Levi were married in California and Arizona does not recognize their marriage as legal.  Thus, Levi is unable to receive second-parent adoption.

Marriage Effects on Their Custody

When marriage is not recognized in a state, the custody rights of children changes.

Levi said that “If something did happen to Patric, I could petition the court for custody and stuff, but there’s no guarantee that I’d get it. In a normal marriage, if something happens to a parent, the kids go to the spouse, but that’s not the case with us.”

While they debated fighting the law in the court system, the legal fees and the potential of having a biased court deterred their actions.  Instead, they have decided to move to Washington D.C. and seek adoption there.

Arizona Adoption Laws

ARS 8-103 states that any adult resident of this state may be eligible to qualify to adopt children.

There are numerous standards that are looked at to determine if a child will be adopted including the marital status, wishes of the child, wishes of the child’s birth parents, etc.

The statute also says that the gender of the marriage may be a factor when deciding the adoption of children.  There is no explicit law that same-sex couples cannot adopt children.

 Jackson White Attorney Can Help

Jackson White understands that seeking adoption is a very complicated issue in Arizona.  Having legal guidance can help determine what the laws are and what you need to do in order to adopt children.  Tim Durkin, family law attorney at Jackson White, can provide his services in this area.  Contact 480.779.7972 to schedule an appointment.