Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gay parenting at 20 weeks

Little Evangeline is doing her thing, swimming around and showing “good variability” in her heart rate.  Our bun is baking away.

In an attempt to be good parents, Heather and I went to a seminar this week at the area gay & lesbian community center.  They do good work and I’m happy to donate, but we’re no more interested in socializing with gays than straights—small-talk is small-talk, yo—so this was a stretch.  Still, the speaker is pretty much the only game in town as far as gay-family law is concerned, and Heather figured it was cheaper to withstand an evening of social exposure than to make an appointment. 

What I can say is that the crowd at this particular event did not do much to dispel stereotypes of lesbian haircuts or fashion.  There was a surprisingly disheveled pair of gay men—don’t even bears have to groom?—but mostly it was the kind of audience that would send a bigot running at first glance.  I nearly ran, myself, once overbearing couples began interrupting the lawyer.  Heather and I grimaced at each other, silently swearing never to return.  After a stint in the back of the overheated room, we’ll happily pay lawyers and CPAs for their time if it means comfortable chairs and quiet conversation.
Still, we didn’t run, and what we learned is that it’s going to be a bitch to get divorced.  With New York’s current laws, one of us would have to live in New York for six months before their courts would take our case.  So we’re kind of stuck.  Heather’s thinking it’ll be twenty years at least before she’s ready to unload me, so hopefully gay marriage laws will catch up by then.

What we also learned is that our current county of residence is not inclined to allow second-parent adoption for same-sex couples, and we’d be wasting our time to try.  There are some counties in the state that allow it, but most have residency requirements of 6 months or more.  No bueno.  Fortunately, there are two states that currently allow second-parent adoption with no residency requirements, so we could apply in Florida or South Carolina even while living in Tennessee.  We might even be able to testify in court by phone.  (Heather’s bestie, Renee, hearing we might have to go to Miami, immediately wanted to know if we were going to make a vacation of it.)  We had a referral already to a Florida attorney, and she explained to me via e-mail that, because there were legal fees, court fees, and a required home visit, we’d be spending about $5,000 overall.  The home visit alone is $1,500. 

Still, in the spirit of the season, I’m incredibly thankful that we were able to get married in the first place and that there’s a chance Heather could legally adopt Evie in the future.  I’m thankful that we have the means to consider it.  I’m super-thankful that we were able to break the streak of the last few years by getting pregnant, and that—again—we had the means to do so.  Now if only I could have a bump in time for Christmas…


  1. First of all congratulations to you and Heather! Second of all, just curious, is Evangeline inspired by Matthew Sweet?

    1. No! I'd never heard the song before now! I'm pretty sure we just got it from a baby name book.