Post-Election Legal Safeguards LGBT Families Must Take


  1. Initiate a step-parent adoption or parentage order and obtain a court order, even if both names are on the birth certificate.
  2. Obtain a passport for your child with BOTH parents name listed on the passport.
  3. Make sure BOTH parents names are listed on your child’s social security number record.
  4. Obtain gender marker revisions to passports ASAP – before the State Department Policy is changed


Will the new administration be able to overturn the Obergefell decision and invalidate your marriage?

Most likely not:

“There is no realistic possibility that anyone’s marriage will be invalidated. The law is very strong that if a marriage is valid when entered, it cannot be invalidated by any subsequent change in the law. So people who are already married should not be concerned that their marriages can be taken away. To the contrary, it is important that they continue to live their lives as married couples. If you or anyone you know encounters any problem with your marriage being fully respected, contact NCLR or another LGBT legal group immediately.”


“The doctrine of stare decisis—which means that courts generally will respect and follow their own prior rulings—is strong, and the Supreme Court rarely overturns an important constitutional ruling so soon after issuing it. In addition, even the appointment of an anti-marriage equality justice to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court would not jeopardize the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on marriage equality, and the great majority of Americans still strongly support the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.” See, NCLR Blog.

However, the Trump administration could make implementation of marriage equality by federal agencies difficult. And, although the administration cannot effect the validity of parentage and adoption orders, federal agencies could make it difficult to implement the rights that flow from such orders.

Heather Ross, Esq.
is an attorney practicing in Illinois and Chair of Path2Parenthood's Legal Advisory Council

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