Last Friday, we had a visit with “our lawyer” (it feels so strange to be people who say “our lawyer”) regarding co-parent adoption. We’re legally married here in MA, which will give Gail parental rights at birth provided we remain in this state, but conventional wisdom says it is still wise to part with our roughly $2000 (and yes, I know some people do it themselves for free, we are not those people) and go ahead and do the adoption. That way we’re protected when we travel, and both have parental rights in the whole country (and presumably internationally, though I don’t know the legal intricacies there), not just in our little gay legal sweetspot here in the northeast.
I know this whole process really rankles lots of folks, but we found it relatively painless last time (less giving up the money), and aren’t the sort to get upset about this sort of thing, especially when we know how few rights some of our friends in less friendly states have. Now, don’t get me started on Federal DOMA and how much it messes up our taxes, but the adoption we can handle. It helps that we live in a state where we don’t have to deal with home studies or waiting periods (provided the proper affidavits saying the proper things are included…this is why we pay the lawyer do it), or rely on luck to have our case assigned to the “right” judge. It turns out the process also comes with a fun perk.
We get to ask our friends and family to write letters about what great people and parents we are to be included with the materials that go to the judge. It’s like asking for letters of recommendation for college, but then getting to read all of them. The letters from last time were such sweet tear-jerkers, they made it into Leigh’s half-complete baby book (and plenty of stuff has not made it in…yet).
It is more jobs added to the (seemingly infinite) to-do list, but something about going to the lawyer gave both a kick-in-the-pants. There really is going to be a baby. As we left the office, Gail turned to me and said, “Last time, when we went to the lawyer, that meant the baby was almost here…Oh! the baby is almost here!” We now seem to actually be making some progress on that list. It helps that, for now, us grown-ups are relatively germ-free, spring seems to be peeking around the corner, and Leigh is sometimes even taking her nap.