January 08, 2010

An LGBT Parenting Agenda for 2010

Dana Rudolph, the publisher of the blog Mombian, contributed an essay to Bay Windows proposing an agenda for LGBT families to take on in the new year:

It is a bit of a cliché to joke that our "agenda" as LGBT parents goes something like this: "Grocery shopping. Laundry. PTA meeting. Kids’ soccer practice."

It’s funny because it’s true. The beginning of the year, however, is a good time to reflect on a broader agenda to help create equality for our families. Here are some of the items on my list:

Nationwide recognition of our parental status: Being in a legally recognized relationship in one jurisdiction is no guarantee that other jurisdictions will recognize the parenthood of a non-biological (or non-adoptive) parent. This can impact custody disputes, hospital visitation, or the simple ability to sign school forms.

Even when an adoption is legal in one state, parents sometimes have to fight for other states to recognize it. A federal appeals court last year ordered a hold on an order for Louisiana to put both gay dads on the birth certificate of a boy adopted in New York but born in Louisiana, where same-sex couples cannot adopt. The court heard the case in October, but has not yet ruled.

Last May in Florida, too, a biological mother tried to deny visitation to her ex-partner, who had done a second-parent adoption when the couple lived in Washington. The court ruled that despite the Florida ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians, it had to recognize the out-of-state adoption. Good news -- but opposite-sex parents would not have had to fight that battle.
Click here for the rest of this essay.

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