July 16, 2010 will forever be imprinted in my mind and on my calendar. This important date will bind our family together legally. We are officially on the court docket to finalize Brase’s adoption.
Remember, we live in the red state of Texas. We are Southerners, actually Texans, by heritage but the South does not live within our souls. We live here for so many reasons but equality is not included on that list.
The 16th is just the 1st step in our state’s 2 part adoption process. Keep in mind, this 2nd step is only required of Gay and Lesbian adoptive parents. Our 2nd court date will be scheduled on or before August 6th.
I will finalize “our adoption” in the county our son was born, during this 1st legal round. Then Jose and I will appear again, in another county, to finalize the second parent adoption. The 2nd step also requires mediation and a legally binding agreement involving custody. This is to ensure that the court does not have to intervene in the event Jose and I ever separate. The mediation and custody agreement in effect acknowledges our family and commitment in a very convoluted process.
Texas is not the only backwards state. We live in a nation with many pockets of inequality and injustice. We are not all free in The Land of the Free! Thus…The Stars and Stripes never hang outside our home because it’s a constant reminder of our 2nd class status as American citizens.
Regardless of the cost and legal obstacles this is a triumph for us and everyone like us. And most importantly, our family will be “legally” united!