Our families grow and change over our lifetimes. We transition from the family we were born into to the ones we create. We form different types of families by falling in love, by having babies, by adopting children, by divorcing, by being step-parents, by having (or being) God parents, or by treating extended family like our own. Our children grow up and leave, our parents may move in with us. As a result, the idea of the nuclear family is … read more »
Are You My Mother?
I have always been fascinated by families. They drive us crazy and they keep us sane. They are the rock upon which we stand, and can be the bane of our existence. We all know what it is like to be somebody’s child, and many of us know what it is like to be somebody’s parent or somebody’s sibling. But each of our experiences is so particular. So different. This article takes a closer look at 2 very basic questions … read more »
Same Sex Married Couples Still Need Second Parent Adoptions
I have written about this before, and it is still true – same sex couples still need second parent adoptions even though they are legally married. New York’s Appellate Division Second Department made this clear their May 2015 decision, Matter of Paczkowski. The case is about a lesbian couple who was married and had a child together during the marriage. The non-biological mom had not adopted their child. The couple later broke up, and she filed for joint custody, arguing … read more »
It’s been a busy week – I was on a panel at CUNY School of Law about Contemplative Lawyering and alternatives to litigating on Monday. On Wednesday I was a panel at Cardozo Law School about mediating with non-traditional families. And today I published an article on FamilyAffaires.com about why second parent adoptions are still needed even when the same-sex parents are married. They say that if you love what you do, it never feels like work. So true. I’m … read more »
Second Parent Adoptions are Still Necessary!
The NY Times’ Motherlode blog ran an article today about 2nd parent adoptions, and Judge Lopez Torres’ recent decision to deny a petition for such when the adoptive parents were married. Here is my comment (which they also published): I am an attorney who does second parent adoptions. I have completed and filed several such adoptions in New York State since Judge Lopez Torres’ decision was published – parallel courts recognize them as still being necessary. While Judge Lopez Torres’ … read more »
DOMA and the States
There is no doubt that the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was historic, and will forever change the lives for millions of same-sex couples and their families. There are over 1,100 federal benefits now available to married same sex couples that were previously only available to married heterosexual couples. But DOMA is not entirely deceased. There were 2 parts to DOMA – the part that remains intact is the part that says that states … read more »