Saturday, December 06, 2008

Adoption/Guardianship Conversation

By the way, I actually think it is unlikely that the court will initiate termination of Gary's father's parental rights. I think so anyway. They would have to notify him and I assume sending a letter to an address they know is bad wouldn't be sufficient. All past history indicates that he would respond aggressively. This would put Gary in a difficult place. He may say now that he doesn't care if his father's rights are terminated while his dad out of contact, but if his dad showed up and started protesting that no one was going to take his son away, well, Gary would feel understandably gratified.

It is an emotional conflict that I don't think we need to put him through.

I'm just saying.

Anyway, Roland and I talked briefly about it. It just didn't take us long to agree that we were committed to Gary and were willing to be any sort of parents he needed us to be.

I also told Roland that if we ended up petitioning for guardianship for Gary, I really wanted to offer adult adoption to the older boys at the same time, and that if we by some stretch actually adopted Gary I would insist upon it.

Roland is a little confused about why adult adoption should matter to them. I tried to explain.

He finally got it when I pointed out that as the older boys are gay they don't have a reliable way to create legal family. If we adopt them they don't just get us, they get a pack of brothers. It means that if they are in the hospital there is someone who will be able to make some decisions -- and of course back up the claims of partners that they are family too.

The older boys can turn it down, of course.

For Evan it will be more complicated. Our plan is to suggest that Roland adopt him but not me. I would be his stepmom.

Anyway, I told him one of the advantages, I think, of adopting them as adults is that they don't have to have their birth certificates altered. Apparently Roland lives under a rock and only listens to me talk with half his brain because this was the first time he (that he remembers) hearing about altering birth certificates.

It never occurred to him that an adopted child would get a new birth certificate with the adopters names on it. "But, that's a lie. How can the government issue a document that isn't true?"

Oh, my innocent husband.

I wonder how many people who don't know about the practice would be similarly surprised.


  1. *I* was surprised when we started the adoption process to learn about that, too. It really made utterly no sense when you adopt A) a child internationally or B) a child older than the marriage and/or the a-parents even knowing each other (doesn't happen a lot, but it *does* happen).

    I wish they could create two birth certificates. For those who cared for various reasons (for legal ones to prove parental relationship or for personal ones), they could used the adoptive one. For those who found it plain strange, they could use the original one.

    Personally, I'm glad we have us listed as MJ's parents on it because don't plan to tell people that she is adopted unless it is relevant. *She* can tell people but might choose not to. BCs are required for school, activities, etc., and if she doesn't want to tell them she is adopted, she won't have to just because of the BC.

  2. I talked to a mom just yesterday who had placed a child for adoption several years ago. (The kid is now a teenager.) She didn't know about the birth certificate thing either.

  3. Anonymous5:14 AM

    Atually, I don't get that either...I mean, it makes sense if the a-parents want to keep it all "hush hush", but I believe it makes everyone a disservice.

    Where I am, I believe the practice is making a note/emmendment of the original BC. I know what they do is write in the original BC, in a margin, that the person has been adopted by so and so, and they also write that the adoptee's name/surname is now blah blah.

    I know that the adoption sentence has to be registered at the "National Adoptions Registry", but, I'm not sure if a "new" birth certificate is issued... I think it is not, but I'm not entirely sure; maybe they get a BC saying the person was adopted by so and so (instead of saying the child was born to them...). I do know that there's a law stating that every child has the right to know where he/she came from, as in know who their birth family is.

    I probably should look into it...


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