Two contacts this week reminded me why I am passionate about my work to create stable families with two legal parents.
First, I received a call from a couple that was adopting though CPS and was refused by the judge just two hours before the adoption hearing – solely because they were a lesbian couple. CPS had approved everything. Family had flown to town. The photographer had been hired. Then the court administrator switched judges… Hopefully, the homophobic judge will let the couple dismiss the case and file in another county. However, I had a similar case out of Harris County a couple of years ago where the judge refused to grant the adoption and refused to dismiss. Luckily, the judge retired and they called me – six years later. (This would never happen in Travis County where all the judges support our families.)
Second, I received online contact from a woman whose wife was divorcing her after 13 years (and an affair). They had been raising their child together for 10 years and the woman calling me was the genetic mom who donated her egg to the gestational mom. Sadly, Texas law states that the woman who gives birth is the legal mom. If they had done a second-parent adoption, the custody battle would have been between two equal parents. I don’t handle custody battles anymore, but I can give the non-birth mom a bit of advice and refer her to Leigh Jorgeson and Ian Pittman who are fighting these fights throughout Texas. I don’t know her legal chances, but I do know the fight will be expensive.
This is why I continue to stress the importance of second-parent adoptions, especially in a time when there is clearly a backlash to gay marriage in the conservative Texas courts.