It’s endless, it seems, the hoops that we continually have to jump through as a gay couple. Adding children to that mix it gets even more treacherous.
In some places it’s relatively simple for same sex couples to have kids together. I’d have a baby, Virginia would adopt the baby. We’d both share parental rights.
In some places, like the one where we live, this is illegal for same sex couples. In order for Virginia to go through the second parent adoption process I would have to legally give up my rights to our kids. Instead we get to draw up a series of documents, that are all at the liberty of some Baptist judge to honor.
A Co-Parenting Agreement.
A Domestic Partnership Agreement.
Hospital Visitation Authorization.
We’re talking about hundreds of dollars and a lot of time to draw up all of these documents, which would just be a given could we get married. So that, you know, Virginia can pick our kid up from school. Or take them to a doctor. Or have any legal standing should something happen to me, or us. Which is, essentially, a pre nup for our kids. Because, there’s nothing more awesome than talking about what will happen when I die or if we break up when we’re riding the high of family planning.
There are couples, gay and straight, that have children without being married or having any sort of legal paperwork put together.
There are also horror stories of these same sorts of people losing custody of a child they’ve raised to their bat-shit crazy aunt. I mean, not that I don’t trust Frantzis, but I’d rather my kids ended up with their mother should something happen to me.
And what if my kid got into a horrible accident and I was out of town and Virginia couldn’t get into the hospital room with them? That’s just fucking crazy. But, shit like this happens, all.the.damn.time.
And again, these are the things that I am, forcibly, thinking about, instead of spending my afternoons daydreaming about names for the baby or how to best alter my men’s button down shirts for pregnancy and still look cute.
Maybe it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal. What’s an afternoon and a couple hundred dollars spent with a lawyer? What’s really the likeliness that we end up in a court with a Baptist backwoods conservative dick that wouldn’t honor our domestic partnership agreement?
That our family’s legitimacy could ever be determined by some stranger. That our kids could be taken from Virginia, should something happen to me. That Virginia could ever be considered less of a parent to our children. No one should ever have to think these things.
Equality. This is where I, we, become lesser citizens because of who we rest our heads beside.