Saturday, December 26, 2009

Adoption and David

So, I finally had the conversation with David about adopting him. He was pleased to accept. He doesn't tend to extreme expressions of pleasure, so the quiet smile and "Yeah, that's okay with me" was enough.

To back up: David was here with his boyfriend, the one he has dated for more than a year and whom we like so very much; Evan came alone, no longer dating the too-young, too-dependent boy we were always very nice to; and Andrew brought his girlfriend Alice. Andrew spent Christmas Eve with Alice's family, learning to make tortillas from scratch and scarfing down on all the tamales so that there were none to bring home to me, which Alice promised she would try to do.

So I had all my kids except Carl here for dinner yesterday. That alone always makes me happy, not the missing Carl part you understand. David's boyfriend has biblical (Hebrew scriptures) name and after one glass of wine I called him by another that really does sound a lot like it. Something like, "Micah, I mean Michael..." except his actual name and the one I called him are both uncommon. (I think I will start using "Michael" for him. It is a good name for someone who looks so lovingly at the man I call "David.") I corrected myself immediately and apologized. He smiled and said it was okay, "It's a mom thing."

We talked a little bit about the ways the boys could change their names, or not. Evan is thinking about asking the judge if he can change his last name to his father's. His dad died when Evan was three and having Roland, or both of us, adopt him while reclaiming his father's name would be a way of claiming us all, not to mention a way of demonstrating to his family that he means no disrespect to his father. David said he had been talking about how much he had just recently been talking about how he wanted to change his name. He told us about how he was struck with the name of one of his customers and had thought about changing it to that. Michael told him it would not happen in our state. Michael tried to change his name some years back and the judge told him that the only legal reasons for doing it were change in family relationships or if you were in mortal fear of your life. Since he had neither, she assumed he was trying to commit fraud and she wouldn't help.

As far as I understand the law, the judge mis-informed Michael. The law does state that you cannot change your name if the intent to do commit fraud, but does not specify legally acceptable reasons.

Anyway, we all agreed that Evan's desire to take his father's name would probably make sense to a judge and that David would probably have to decide between taking our name or keeping the one he has. I reminded everyone that they could make either name their middle or last name.

Now I have to get Carl on the phone to have the conversation with him.

I am talking to the older boys now because I don't want them to hear about it after hearing about the situation with Gary. I don't want anyone thinking that they were an after-thought. On the other hand, after talking the other day with Evan I am beginning to think asking them to spend a year and a half with a promise to adopt and no action may be more emotionally draining that I realized (which wouldn't be difficult because I stupidly did not even consider whether that would be an emotionally difficult position to be in). So I am seriously considering calling my family lawyer friend and seeing if I can't adopt the older boys fairly soon. I like the idea of doing all four at once, but that is a lesser consideration.

Anyway, we had a good day yesterday. Everyone was pleased with their presents, and we had the usual fight over the leg of lamb. Gary, David, Andrew and I managed to get some slices off before Roland saw it, exclaimed that it was going to kill us, and put it back in the oven until it was just pink, and not red, in the middle. "That is plenty rare. It is still juicy. It is NOT dried out!"


  1. In our state, you just need to file a paper with the clerk of court requesting the name change. All changes are accepted, unless fraud is suspected. The request is posted outside the court for a month, to alert possible creditors.

  2. And with adoption, it should be VERY easy. The new parents are allowed to choose any name--what ever you put down on the paperwork as their new name--the ones we filled out, which granted were for infant adoption, however I believe it didn't matter the age of the person being adopted--simply listed birth name and new name. I also looked into changing my name at one point--I simply didn't want to pay the fee when I could wait 1 year till I got married and do it for free, so I didn't. But it was basically just a fee and a court appearance. As long as you aren't taking the name of someone famous or to defraud, I don't think the judge can make a choice about your new name based on his/her own preferences.


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