Thursday, July 23, 2009

Who's your mommy!

Greetings fellow bloggers. Sorry for being gone for so long, but I just finished my service as a juror--a trial that went from July 6-July 22, so believe me, I'm ready to be done. Maybe some day I'll tell that story, but I actually have something else today that is very exciting to share! A law just went into effect on Saturday that will allow me to be our child's legal parent on the day he or she is born! With now two year old Danny, I had to wait until he was 6 months old to adopt him and although I'm grateful that I was able to adopt, (this is not allowed in all states) I'm even more grateful for this new law here in the District of Columbia.

We’d decided long ago that we wanted our kids to have my last name, but the way the law was before, since there was no “father” listed on Danny’s birth certificate he had to carry the last name of his birth mom. Since we took him overseas to visit relatives when he was just a few months old we had to get him a passport in that name. Which required him to get a social security card in that name. When his name was legally changed when the adoption was final, we had to redo everything. What a hassle! (Don’t even get me started on the problems we had getting his new birth certificate after in the eyes of the law he had two parents—both of us are on his reissued certificate now.)

Also, it made no sense to us that the DC government had to have a social worker visit us three times to do a home study. It wasn’t like he wasn’t going to live there with us even if through some fluke I was not allowed to adopt him right? I think those social services resources can be much better utilized helping families who really need help, and now they can!

Another thing. It cost thousands of dollars for the adoption (most of which we got back as a credit at tax time), but again, I’m Su’s partner. We made every decision together regarding how we would have a family. I’ve been Danny’s mom since before his cells began dividing, and I’m so glad this law is now making this reality for future. Our new baby who is due in December will have two parents on his or her birth certificate from Day One! And the last name that we choose. (Um, that’s mine.)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy what you read below as much as we did when it was in the Washington Post this morning! Have a wonderful day! -Monica

DC Extends Parental Rights for Gays

"Lesbians in the District no longer will need the written consent of their partners to adopt children born to their partners through artificial insemination, under a new law that took effect Saturday.
The name of a consenting spouse or unmarried partner will appear on the child's birth certificate as the legal parent, a status that previously had to be obtained by same-sex parents through a complicated adoption process.

The Domestic Partnership Judicial Determination Parentage Act of 2009 puts the city out front when it comes to children born of same-sex parents, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA) and American University law professor Nancy Polikoff.

"With the enactment of this measure, the District has become the first jurisdiction in the country to enact a statute specifically providing children born through artificial insemination with two legal parents from the beginning even when those parents are a same-sex or different-sex unmarried couple. A similar law goes into effect January 1, 2010, in New Mexico," according to a news release the groups issued today.

"A mother should not have to adopt her own child," said Polikoff, who helped draft the legislation that was shepherded by D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large). "When a heterosexual married couple uses artificial insemination to have a child, the husband does not have to adopt the child born to his wife. He is the child's legal parent automatically. Now the child of a lesbian couple will have the same economic and emotional security accorded the children of heterosexual married couples who use artificial insemination."

Oh Happy Day! -M

7 comments:

Prissy said...

woo hoo for you, and Susanne and Danny and new baby to be!

Love,
Prissy

Jenni said...

yay!

Bugaloo said...

Wahoo pepperoo!

Erin said...

congratulations!!

Nancy Polikoff said...

The new law also makes clear that you can give the new baby a name that is either of your names or a combination of the two! Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family.

Elisa K-G said...

Yay! And Mazel Tov on the new brother or sister!

I came across you holiday card while filing (yes, it has been a while since I filed anything) and decided to procrastinate by looking up your blog. I clearly hadn't read it longer than I hadn't filed! So glad to hear the news!

Love from all of us! Elisa

Stimey said...

Congratulations! That is fantastic!