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Second-parent adoptions are a specialized legal procedure of particular and continuing importance to lesbian-parent families. In some regards they resemble stepparent adoptions, which are relevant to a broader range of families. They may also be of use to gay male couples who use surrogacy if only one man gains legal status as a parent as a result of the surrogacy.

Second-parent adoptions were developed to serve planned lesbian-parent families. When lesbian couples plan a family, they often use assisted insemination. This allows one woman to give birth to a child. Unless she is a party to a surrogacy agreement, the woman who gives birth is automatically recognized as a legal parent of the child. Her partner or wife, however, may not be recognized as a legal ...

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