I’ve been asked so many times about what our family dynamics are going to be once the baby comes and about Les’s rights as a parent considering I will be the one carrying the baby.
This is another one of those situations where straight couples have it very easy. When a guy sleeps with a girl and oops!, she ends up pregnant…no one would question that guys parental rights to the baby. When a straight couple that is dating or married find themselves pregnant yet again no one would dare question that man’s parental rights to the baby. But in our case, Les and I have been together for over four years and we are legally married in the state of Massachusetts, but when I have a baby my wife will have no parental rights to our child until we take legal action to make that happen. So not that the process of getting pregnant for lesbians isn’t hard enough, they make it even harder by making us go through the legal system in order for us both to be recognized as our child’s parents.
I’ve never been an in-your-face, flag waving, screaming for gay rights kind of girl. I rarely speak out about how I feel. I’ve never marched in a parade or stood with a sign demanding equality. Some from the gay community might even frown upon this but it is just who I am. I live my life quietly with my family in the suburbs, pay taxes just like you, abide by the laws and hope that one day our rights, not as lesbians, but as humans will one day be recognized. The right to marry the person I love and have a family with them. It frustrates me to think that Leslie and I are married and in a committed relationship trying to have a baby but when that day happens we still have to go the extra mile yet again just to have her rights as a parent recognized.
But on the bright side of things…. I am thankful for the fact that even though we still currently live in the South Eastern United States in Tennessee we do live in an state where we are allowed to do a Second Parent Adoption. “A second parent adoption is a legal procedure that allows a same-sex parent to adopt a partner’s biological or adoptive child without terminating the legal rights of the first parent.” Now I say we are allowed to do a 2nd parent adoption because there are many states where lesbian couples do not have that option available to them. For example: In the state of Florida the law prohibits ANY homosexual from adopting.
So I will live with the little rights that I do have, and be grateful that she and I have a great support system of friends around us. Les and I will use our attorney to set up and proceed with a second parent adoption so that we both have equal parental rights to our child just like it should be. But…. I do look forward to the day that lesbian couples all over the nation and all over the world can have parental rights without having to fight so damn hard for it. Okay I’m stepping of my gay soap box now….sorry for the ramblings of a Mad Lesbian Woman.
List of Gay Adoption RIghts in each state: