A judge in New York City decided that two friends can adopt together. This ruling broadens the established law, which allows “two unmarried adult intimate partners” to adopt, by defining “intimate” as not necessarily sexual. “Indeed, the experience of jointly and intentionally parenting a child is itself of the most intimate nature,” the judge, Rita Mella said. She also pointed out that “The ‘nuclear family’ has not represented the norm for large sections of the population in a long time.”
I love this ruling. Indeed, two friends, acquaintances, or even two strangers can make a baby. In New York state, prisoners can make babies during conjugal visits, becoming parents while incarcerated. I’ve met several of these children conceived during “trailer visits” in foster care (I’m still waiting for someone to make a documentary about this. Anyone?). If two friends want to adopt together and have jumped through all of the hoops of being evaluated by a social worker and presenting their case in court, I hope the rest of the US will welcome such families.
According to court papers, the woman had told the man she planned to use an anonymous sperm donor to conceive, and the man then offered to be the father. Then then attempted to conceive via artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization but were unsuccessful. Eventually, they tried to adopt, but only the woman was permitted to adopt the Ethiopian baby girl they both now raise. For the past three years, the little girl has been raised by both parents, although in separate homes. She calls her mom “mom” and her dad “dad”. As judge Mella stated: “Allowing him to adopt could enable the child, now 3 years old, to receive better health insurance, as well as social security benefits if the man became disabled or died, and enable the child to inherit from him should he die.”
While I’m a single parent, I actually believe that two parents are better than one. Two healthy, responsible parents, that is. The family in this case is making it work and according to the Judge Mella, they have “created a nurturing, family environment.” I wish them the best!
Also from Rebecca this month: