Bittersweet

{ Wednesday, November 11, 2009 }
Yesterday, our family had a court date. The boy's second parent adoption of the bean was finalized.

The judge was the same man who performed our marriage ceremony and who presided over my name change and it was nice to see everyone at the court and show off the bean. Afterwards, we went out for a celebratory lunch but it didn't feel like there was much to celebrate.


We are fortunate enough to live in a state that recognizes gay marriage, which means that we have both been listed as parents on the bean's birth certificate since her birth. The second parent adoption is more of a formality, meant to protect us in less gay-friendly areas. We know we are very fortunate to have these options available to us to protect our family.

And yet, we have so far to go. In order to obtain the adoption, we were required to submit to a home study by the state. A social worker visited our home in order to determine whether we were suitable parents and our bean was appointed her own lawyer who was asked to determine whether it was in the bean's best interest to remain with her family of origin. The whole process was demoralizing, maddeningly slow, and felt unnecessary. As the boy said, "I just adopted my own daughter."

I spent the day feeling sad that we had to do this, happy that we were able to do it, and sad again that not every gay couple has this option.




But the bean did get to help swing the gavel. That was fun!

9 comments:

Jess said...

it was wise of you to formally go through the adoption process, even if it sucks that you had to do it. Congrats to you all. What a beautiful family!

CJ said...

It does seem so ridiculous, yet so few have the ability to even do THAT! I hope it will be different for the upcoming LGBT generations...for now, congrats to you!

greg said...

You are smart to take those extra steps to protect your family. One day I hope that it won't be necessary but for now it's good to be extra careful.

Your family is lovely and you look so pretty. :)

KraftyKay said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments and to Greg--you just made my day!

Strawberry said...

Ditto all that. But congrats just the same. It's good to have it done (and those are great pics!)

Val said...

Great pics and a wonderful family you all are!

Yeah, it's a bitch that we have to do these things, but each day we all get closer to the next level and the next....
Lots of progress being made - don't get too discouraged. You're in some great company here in the trenches! :)

Grumpy Granny said...

I know it is frustrating, but having worked for a while as a paralegal in Colorado, I know that even with heterosexual step-parent adoptions the non-biological adoptive parent has to go through a lot of background checking and home study, etc. At the bottom line is the protection of a child, and dotting the "I's" and crossing the "T's" in that regard is not a bad thing.

Congratulations to your completely "recognized" family! BTW, I called my first grandson "Bean" but he's too old now (nearly 10).

GG

JR said...

Grumpy Granny - I totally understand for step parent adoptions having to go through those hoops. But our situation is analagous to a straight married couple having used donor sperm. Our child was born while we were married and had we been straight no one, not any court, would question my being the other parent.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Lynn said...

Ha- this is the exact same way that we felt when my partner had to adopt our son (and now will have to do the same with our daughter).