We did it!
Thirteen and a half months after Roo made us a family of three, we’re legal.
After 3 post-placement visits, 3 months of paperwork snafus, and another 3 months of waiting on a slow bureaucracy, we were in the courtroom for about 4 minutes. But it was beautiful. We had fifteen friends and family members there, and the judge and the clerks in the family court loved doing it, according to the lawyer, because they spend the rest of their week presiding over contested divorces and custody cases.
The judge asked us a few random questions, signed whatever was in front of him, and handed the gavel to Roo, instructing him to “make it official, young man.”
Afterwards, down in the clerk’s office, our lawyer checked on the petition she had filed that morning to request a copy of Roo’s original birth certificate. Our agency had told us we had no legal access to it, and the statutes seemed to support that, but the clerk handed it right over. Because of where we live, and because we’re married, we’ll get a birth certificate that lists us both as his moms, but of course it won’t list his first parents. So it felt like a real coup to get the original for him. What dumb luck, right?
Because we’re married, we were able to adopt him together today, which was incredible. This was a legal change, not a functional one, but it’s huge. When we got married we became a legal family with the legal protection provided to very few same-sex couples in this country. This felt like it closed the loop: each of us legally bound to one another.
This is the stuff I didn’t know I could wish for.