Friday, April 10, 2009


I haven't had a chance to write this week about how really excited Susanne and I are about the exciting news coming out of Iowa, Vermont and our home town the District of Columbia in regard to legislation to either allow for gay marriage, or in the case of DC, to allow people who are legally married elsewhere to have their marriages recognized here. To learn more about some of the details of these issues read here.

One thing you'll note if you take a look at the link above is that another measure was approved the same day. It was introduced by DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson's and deals with determining parentage for domestic partners in DC.

This is a big deal. In a nutshell, if we were to have another child, by virtue of our Domestic Partnership Agreement, I would be listed immediately on our child's birth certificate. We could give the baby either of our last names, so we could immediately give him or her mine. With Danny, he had to carry Susanne's last name until I could legally adopt him at 6 months. In fact since we took him on a visit to Germany as a younger infant he needed to get a Social Security card in order to get a passport--both of which had to be done with Su's last name that was later changed. What a hassle to redo all of that stuff!

It's hard to explain how frustrating it is to have to prove that you are a worthy parent with home studies by social workers, court dates etc...all the while having virtually no legal standing to care for your little baby until a judge says "yes" (and that's not a guarentee!). Sadly in the eyes of the law, you are a complete stranger to that child.

If this new legislation passes, our second child, should we be so blessed, would be our child LEGALLY from its very first breath. How exciting. Not to mention saving thousands of dollars on adoption costs. But since the cost of the adoption basically gets reimbursed as a credit at tax time, I am less concerned with the cost than I am by the prinicple of the matter.

So, we'll have to see how this all plays out since legislation passed by the DC Council is subject to review by the U.S. Congress due to DC Home Rule (don't get me started.) We are just so excited that little by little change is coming. Yes! -Monica


Casey said...

Wooooohoooooooooooo! It's about damn time.

Stimey said...

I can't quite imagine how frustrating it would be to have to adopt your own child. I hope that change keeps coming.