Friday, January 2, 2009

Second parent adoption

I sent this email to J & S about our second-parent adoption letter they will be writing:

And here's the info on the second-parent adoption letter we need. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this letter! We need it by March so we can bring it to our next appointment with our lawyer. We can't actually submit the paperwork for second-parent adoption until the baby is born, but our lawyer will collect everything and have it on file so that as soon as the baby is born we can submit the file and get the process moving as quickly as possible.

Adoption is a judgement from the courts, and marriage is a law. Laws do not have to be honored across state boundaries, which is why we aren't bothering to get married in CT like we talked about the other night, because it wouldn't be honored here. But judgements are different - a state must recognize a judgement from another state even if they disagree with it. So since second-parent adoption for same-sex couples is legal in MD, once K adopts our baby, it will be her legal child no matter where she goes, including FL and VA, places we go often which would not allow her to adopt a child, but they have to respect the judgement from MD. So this is a big deal and it is very important that we get this approved. Basically, without adopting the child, K has no more legal rights to our baby than you would have to our baby, but after the adoption, she is as much a legal parent as I am.

Along with lots of other paperwork, we need three character references for K. We are choosing my sister, K's mom, and you guys. We picked you because you live in our neighborhood, you have kids so you know what it means to be parents, and because we like you. We would like the letter to be from both of you. The basics of the letter should include how you know us, that you know we are in a relationship, that you know we have been planning to have children together, and that you know that we are planning to raise this child together. That's the basics, but something more personal is the goal.

In case it's useful, here's some background on our relationship:
We met in 1997 in college when we were 18.
We became a couple, got engaged, and moved in together in 2000 when we were still in college. I was 21 and K was 20.
In 2001 when we were both 22 and in grad school, we got our legal documents done (wills, health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney), basically as close as we could get to a legal marriage as a same-sex couple.
In 2005, when I was 26 and K was 25, we had a religious wedding ceremony and changed our last names so that they would be the same.
In 2008, when I was 29 and K was 28, we started trying to conceive.

Thank you so much! This means a lot to us. Let us know if you have any questions.

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