Maryland custody issues in same-sex divorce
Second parent adoption is crucial in Maryland same-sex marriages
When a same-sex couple in Maryland has a child, it is imperative that the non-biological parent (or second parent) of the child adopt as soon as possible. A legal adoption ensures that a non-biological parent will be able to pursue custody and/or visitation rights, and will be able to petition the Court for support in the case of divorce. While the state of Maryland currently allows two female partners to be listed on a birth certificate, it does not grant the same right to men.
Once both parents have adopted the child or children and established legal parentage, Maryland child custody laws follow regular order. Legal custody gives parents the right to make major decisions on behalf of their child—including decisions about schooling, religion, and medical care. Physical custody governs where children reside.
The courts divide these orders in two ways: