I found myself getting a little soap-boxy on the 2nd tri board today, and realized I was talking to the wrong crowd. A woman asked if it's a good idea to have a will, and I wrote an emphatic yes, explained why they're especially important for my family, and suggested some specifics that she and her husband should include.
As I was thinking through all of the hoops that my partner and I had to (got to?) jump through to protect our family, I was reminded about how lucky we are to live in a state/county that grants second-parent adoptions. Since we're all from different areas, I'm curious about the specifics of your state. As I ask these questions, I'll answer them for my state too.
- What state are you in? *Washington*
- Do you have access to domestic partnership or civil marriage? *Yes, limited domestic partnership, currently under expansion to "Everything But Marriage" pending possible referendum.*
- Do you have access to second-parent adoption? *Yes, in select counties*
- Have you already written/filed a will that covers your partner and future child(ren)? *Yes, our attorney required us to have wills before she would start our second-parent adoption paperwork. I adopted our daughter in 2004.*
- When your child(ren) are born, will their birth certificate reflect birth mom only, birth mom and donor, or both moms? *Unless this has changed since 2004, birth mom only on the first birth certificate. The adoption decree included a request for a new birth certificate to be issued, with "Parent" and "Parent" lines reflecting both of us.*
- If you don't have access to second-parent adoption, have you (or do you plan to) formalize a parenting plan with help from an attorney? *N/A*
- If you and your partner were to split, are you confident that your parental rights would be protected/enforced? *Yes, I have equal rights to custody and equal responsiblity to pay child support.*
- If your partner were to die, are you confident that your parental rights would be protected/enforced? *Yes, in addition to my place on Kiddo's birth certificate, I am named as the intended guardian in my partner's will.*
- Do you have any areas of the country where you fear to travel with your child? *Yes, Florida. I worry that all of our paperwork would be disregarded in an emergency situation.*
- What major loopholes doe you feel you can't protect your family from? *My partner can't receive my SS survivor benefits if I predecease her, but that's a federal issue.*
Okay, sorry this is so looooooong. I'm curious to read your answers!