Family / Family-building

The Slightest of Breezes

Whoa on stop sign with mountains in the background

immediately Betsy Archer Photography

Today was a beautiful day in Western North Carolina. The sun was shining high in the sky, about 70 degrees. The daffodils are already in bloom. The robins are foraging in my yard. I took note of the slight breeze as I walked into my lawyer’s office to discuss suing my wife.

We aren’t splitting up or fighting over property. We aren’t even fighting at all. In fact, we are happily expanding our family. We have twins on the way, set to arrive this summer. Suing her is the only way I can have any legal rights over our children.

They call it a “friendly suit”, meaning that we both agree to the terms. While that is true, what is also true is that this whole thing sucks. It sucks that this will cost us over $1,000 at a time when we really should be saving to pay for the 2-for-1 special causing my love’s uterus to expand by the minute. It sucks that our only other option right now is to pursue a second-parent adoption in Florida for around $5,000. It sucks that we chose to live closer to our families and left behind all the legal protections of the state of Massachusetts. It sucks that one scorned lesbian took her ex-partner to court in North Carolina to challenge their child’s adoption, culminating in an NC Supreme Court ruling nullifying existing adoptions and making any future second-parent adoptions illegal.

That really sucks.

My lawyer told me that when we go to the hospital when my wife is in labor, I will need to keep a copy of our joint custody agreement in my pocket. I will also need to keep a copy of a notarized healthcare power of attorney over the babies in my pocket. Oh, and I will need to keep a copy of my wife’s health care power of attorney in my pocket. I have decided to just carry a bag with me. When they hand me the first baby for the first time, I will make sure my messenger bag is pushed towards my back so that the baby doesn’t get a paper cut. But if s/he does, I sure will be glad that I have all those documents on my person so that I can authorize the nurse to put a band-aid on it.

Seem a little ridiculous? It certainly is. But that’s how it works. Even you might have to go through the same thing if you’re a little different from the norm. You’d have to go to a notary service similar to Rush In to get your power of attorney (доверенность) prepared and notarized while you were going through something important. I want all my straight friends to read this. I want them to pony up cash so that I can start a fund to help people offset the tremendous cost of all this absolutely ridiculous nonsense. I want them to feel so grateful they never had to prove in court that they love their children or that they deserve to be a parent and that they are willing to share in the burden placed on those of us who do. Who’s in?

In the meantime, I am going to start washing baby clothes. Folding all those tiny onesies and placing them in drawers, laying out their stuffed animals just so. I will prep my three-year-old for the tasks ahead of him and I will sign those documents because I have to. Mostly though, I will just enjoy these last few months with only my boy. We will spend a lot of time outside, lying in the grass, watching the robins graze, noticing the slightest of breezes.

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  1. This is such a powerful story, Betsy. These are the legal situations that most people don’t know, never have to know. Thank you for bringing this to light.

  2. That is precisely why I wanted to share. Thanks for reading, Vikki.

  3. If you establish some sort of fund, let us know, Betsy! I think Qs and Allies alike would pony up to help. It’s really outrageous.

  4. This should go nationwide….I’m in.

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