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It is very important when considering gay adoption or considering having children as a gay couple to examine what parental rights each partner has. If one parent dies or is severely incapacitated, it is essential that the other parent has parental rights. Having acted as a parent to the child does not add much weight in law, and if there are others with parental rights to your child, the child may be placed in another's care.
Not all countries allow gay adoption in their gay adoption laws. Bearing this in mind, although the only way to adopt in some countries is for one partner to adopt as a single parent, this can prove disastrous if that partner dies. In such a case, it is important to establish some form of parental rights for both partners from the outset.