Monday, November 17, 2008

Legal Questions and Other Rambling

It’s hard to go from 84 degrees in Florida to 34 degrees in NYC. This is how much both K and I hate winter: We went on a real estate tour yesterday thinking about where we would live if we were to move and what the legal ramifications would be.
We could buy a beautiful home—something impossible for us to do here—and I would not have to work and instead could take care of the baby (you know, in case we actually
have one) for a couple of years. There would be a yard and the beach nearby and sunshine most of the year. And yes, the odd hurricane, but hey you can’t have everything.

If a lesbian couple were to do second parent adoption in say…New York State, but then move to Florida….does that make the adoption null and void?
Anyone know these answers without me calling a lawyer?

It looks like some of you who are doing NamBloHoMo are tag-teaming! I cry Foul!
It’s putting me behind in my commenting, but so far, I’ve written my post every single day—by myself!

Tonight: meeting a bunch of friends to attend the Lesbian mag party sponsored by G.O.! Should be fun except I’m exhausted from arriving back home last night and not getting enough sleep and I just found out I have an all-day training 9-5 tomorrow.
Good thing I’m ‘allowing’ myself a bit of caffeine in emergency moments such as tomorrow’s training…

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love that you're posting every day--your life is much more interesting than mine right now!

See you later tonight for some well-deserved fun. We can be the exhausted ones leaning on the bar.

Jen said...

That is a great legal question of which I do not have an answer. My thought is that in the case of a second parent adoption, the birth certif of the baby is typically changed to reflect both the bio and non-bio parent. Therefore, no matter where that child lived, I would like those would be the two legal guardians, as indicated on their birth certif and of course a will of the parents. Just my two non-legal cents. (and I could be way off...)

insertmetaphor said...

I don't know the answer either but my guess is the same as Jen's. I think as long as the birth certificate says you're both parents then that can't be disputed. Of course there's plenty of other discrimination you can face in florida...

cindyhoo2 said...

I have to disagree. I think (living in the South) that state laws reflect who can be considered a "parent" to a child. I would say the best indication may be the states foster and adoption laws. Florida's are notoriusly bad for us gays! :) But the upside is that I believe there are ways that you can circumvent those rules with some easy forms from a lawyer to give the second partner rights to the child as well.... seriously though, that's just my somewhat-informed opinion. :)

My partner also hates cold and periodically looks at Florida... let us know if you get good news on this issue.

Heidi said...

I have no idea what the answer is, but let us know if you find out, I have been wondering the same thing. We heart Florida.

Inlocoparentis said...

Because a second-parent adoption is a final judgment, the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution requires that all other states respect that judgment, regardless of the states’ own laws or public policies. I will say that I have heard of people having problems getting their adoptions recognized in states like Oklahoma, but ultimately those states' restrictions were overturned in federal court. If it were me, (and I don't practice this kind of law, so this is just my personal opinion and not my legal opinion), I would feel comfortable relying on a second-parent adoption issued by another state.

Keely said...

If I were you I would call Lambda Legal. They should have a straightforward answer and you won't have to pay to get it.
Whatever the legal answer though, there is this to consider: the daily reality of a state that explicitly discriminates against gay couples. To me this means that you may face institutionalized discrimination in schools, doctors' offices, hospitals, etc... and while you MAY or may not have the law on your side, fighting that battle would have a seriously nagative impact on your life.
I mean, that couple in Oklahoma I believe spent YEARS and had to go to federal court. The law WAS on their side, but how much of your life (and K's...and your child's) do you want to spend proving it? Just my thought.
I do sympathize with the loathing of cold, dark winters though.

Good Luck in your training!

tbean said...

I understand wanting warmer weather. But seriously--Florida is SCARY!!! Last summer an R Family Cruise was leaving from Florida and a lesbian family with kids had arrived in Florida a day early to board the ship. That day, one of the mom's had a crazy aneurysm or heart attack or something. And the ER staff wouldn't let her wife and kids in to see her. They finally were able to at the very last minute, and the woman tragically died.

In Loco (being the lawyer that she is) is right. A second parent adoption done in one state is nationally recognized by all other states (unlike same-sex marriages, thank you DOMA). Even still, Florida is just so so risky.

Strawberry said...

Surprisingly (to me anyway), FL does have to recognize your second parent adoption, however, I don't think they'd make anything easier for you. Just sayin'.

eggdance said...

DO NOT move to Florida! Seriously, it is not worth it. The only person I know who lives there (my very cool aunt) really hates it and says the politics are horrible. It is also pretty notoriously unfriendly to queer people.