A NEW TYPE OF DISCRIMINATION

Imagine this scenario:  You are a lesbian couple and you just found out you and your partner are finally pregnant after months of fertility treatments, ups and downs  and you’ve finally been given that Big Fat Positive (BFP).  The two of you are now going to be parents.

With new marriage laws starting to take root in different parts of the country it’s easy to see this scenario being played out all over the U.S.  Gays and Lesbian are going to want to now start families.  And because of this we are ripe for a new type of discrimination.

My wife and I have a similar situation and we decided to think about the future and try to consult a lawyer about protecting my legal rights as a parent since I was not carrying the baby.  We were hoping to have me adopt our child and at least have both of our names on the birth certificate so that if anything ever happened to my partner, at least I know our child would be protected and able to stay with me with no interference from anyone.

But a new type of discrimination has arisen and a new type of scam has emerged to take advantage of gays and lesbians that find themselves in similar situations.  To adopt my own child that my partner and I planned through the help of a Cryobank and the use of a fertility specialist, it should be as simple as getting the paperwork changed.  I mean, if a straight couple decides to have a child the father is automatically added to the birth certificate so why can’t the same apply to me. 

Well here’s what is actually happening in the state of Florida.   Gay couples, are made to go through an entire adoption process, which requires home studies, back ground checks (FBI, State and Local), financial disclosures, 5 letters of references and so on and so forth.  This entire process can cost a couple upwards of $5000 – $6000 dollars.  Now I ask you, why should I have to adopt my own child that I planned with my partner?  It’s not like we are adopting a child who was a ward of the state.  This is our child, a child we planned together.  I participated in every insemination, every office visit, every disappointment was shared between myself and my partner.  Why should I have to pay to adopt my own child? 

This doesn’t happen to straight couples.  At the hospital, the male signs the birth certificate and boom it’s done.  Why cannot the same principle apply to me as a parent?  Why is the system, again, discriminating against us by manipulating people who want the same rights as straight couples, out of thousands of their hard earned dollars just to protect their family and their newborn child?

We decided we are refusing to participate in this discriminatory process.  We are having a will drawn up that names me as Legal Guardian to our child if something were to happen to my partner.  Then we are hoping to move to a state such as California. A state that recognizes our union and recognizes the child that came out of that union, as belonging to both of us.  Upon moving we will then change the birth certificate in that state.  But I refuse to participate in a discriminatory practice here in the state of Florida.  And I’m sure it will happen in other states that have no protections for gays and lesbians.  And I hope there are others that refuse to participate in this discrimination as well. 

In the end, it’s important to have some type of wishes in writing whether it is designated in the form of a will or you try to go through the legal system to adopt your own child.  But we SHOULD NOT have to go above and beyond what a straight couple would do in the same situation.  We are not adopting a child who is already in the system, a child who is “a ward of the state”; we are trying to protect our child.

And think about this one, what would happen if she was carrying my egg? That’s why it makes absolutely no sense to discriminate against gays and lesbians.


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