Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Civil Rights and Vitamin D

Me and my daughter Kate.
Since I originally posted this blog five years ago, there have been many significant updates to same sex adoption and equality. But even with the Supreme Court's passing marriage equality for all, Family Equality Council still strongly recommends that same sex married couples still go through the process of adopting their own children.

In many states there is still a lack of clarity around who the second parent is with regard to same sex couples. While it is always presumed that the husband is the legal father of a child, regardless of whether he is or is not, a particular county or a particular hospital may not issue a birth certificate with married same sex parents listed in the parent fields.

In New York State, Sarah and I are listed as 'Parent' and 'Parent' of Thomas and Kate. We were forced to revoke the title of 'Mother' when petitioning for adoption, a point that sticks in my craw because I am Thomas' and Kate's mother. Thomas and Kate have two mothers. Just like some of their friends have a mother and a father, who get to be listed on their children's birth certificates as such.

If you look at the birth certificates of Kim Davis' children, she is listed as the mother. Just stating facts.

Take a spin down memory lane, and if nothing else, look how little baby Kate is in these photos:

Originally posted November 23, 2010:

My partner, Sarah, gave birth to our daughter, Kate, in February, 2009.  Please note, I refer to Kate as our daughter, because I consider her to be mine too.  I was the first person to ever see her enter the world.  And I watched her take her first breath.  I held her hand while she lay under the heat lamp in the delivery room.  She was struggling with her breathing, and I could tell something was wrong.  So I stayed right by her side while the nurses busily cleaned and measured her.  She coughed up some liquid that was stuck in her lungs.  Everyone assured me it was a totally normal occurrence, but I had a complete heart attack and thought something was wrong, just like a mother would, instinctually.

Anyway.  The state I live in doesn't consider me her mother.  Or even her parent, for that matter.  She's got cousins in California she's never met before who actually have more legal rights to her than I do.  I'm the one who changes her poopie diapers every day, and the one who takes her to the park with her brother, and the one who marches around the Music Together class holding her hand.  But some people she's never met in California could take her away from me if I don't pay a lawyer several thousand dollars to help me legally adopt her.

Did you know that if a single mother gives birth to her baby, she can fill out the birth certificate upon being released from the hospital and put any Tom, Dick or Harry down as the biological father?  And his name will appear, just like that, on that child's birth certificate as its father?  Good to know, right? 

When I gave birth to Thomas, I wrote Sarah's name into the box reserved for "fathers," just to see how they'd issue it.  When the birth certificate came in the mail, it listed father as unknown.  I guess the issuing office caught on that most men aren't named Sarah.

So, in order to adopt my own daughter, I have to provide the state with the following:
  • A certified letter from the donor bank confirming that I purchased donor specimen
  • A certified letter from my fertility doctor confirming I underwent a procedure to get pregnant
  • A notarized letter from my doctor confirming I am mentally capable of caring for my own daugter
  • Anotarized letter from my doctor confirming I am physically capable of caring for my own daughter
  • A social worker visit to my house confirming it's a safe environment for my daughter (and son) to be raised in.
  • Finger printed.  I have to go down to the police station and get finger printed. 
That's not even everything I have to do, but it's all I can bare to list.  And Sarah's got to do all the same things so she can adopt her son.  And, of course, all of this costs a lot of money.  I mean, money we're willing to spend.  But I'm just sayin'.  Why don't we just give me my Civil Rights already so I don't have to spend my days racing around getting certified letters and physicals and finger printed. Not to mention wasting some social workers time coming out to my totally regular, normal, healthy, loving, house where my babies are being raised by two mothers who adore them, surrounded by cousins and neighbors and grandparents and aunts and uncles who equally adore them.  Talk about a waste of time and tax payer money.

Here's the silver lining...

I went for a physical for the first time in about a hundred years so the doctor could tell me and the court that I'm healthy enough to raise the babies I'm already in the process of raising.  And the doctor found that I have a vitamin D deficiency.  How random is that?  That's the sunlight vitamin.  I live in a beach town, for heaven's sake.  I guess I should stop slathering on the sunblock.

Anyway, I found this great vitamin D supplement that bundles itself with omega 3s, all in one pill!  I've been meaning to start taking omega 3s, so this is a total win/win for me.  If it weren't for my Civil Rights deficiency, I'd never have known about my vitamin D deficiency.

Silver lining, indeed...

ps-Kate's cousins from California will be here for Thanksgiving.  So they won't be total strangers anymore.  But I guarantee you they won't be changing any of her poopie diapers while they're here.  Again, just sayin'.

Me and my daughter Kate.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monkey See Monkey Do.

One of the babies was Monkey See.  The other was Monkey Do.  But then Monkey See peed on his costume.  So we changed him into a fireman costume.  And his sister became a butterfly.  Quite frankly, they both seemed happier.