Friday, September 12, 2008

California, The Golden State

Ah, California...why did we leave you?

Today I had a talk with Lane, our adoption coordinator at the IAC. Mostly we talked about what pictures to use for our birth mother letter. Out of about 50 or so, we picked out 5. Since we need around 8 to 10, we have more work to do. At least he liked one of my favorites, Gregg with Nat and Lyssy:

He also like this one with me and The Boys, which surprised me. He said birth moms like dogs, they like holiday shots, and they like cute, and this picture has all three. By cute I'm sure he means me, but he could mean those Santa outfits. They do look as we like to say "Labrador-able":

Anyway so we need to find some more. But that's not the point. I heard some very good things today. First, Lane kept telling me don't be surprised if this thing moves quickly once we're on the books. The interracial couple thing is going to work hugely in our favor. There's a black / white male couple from Tucson on the site that Lane works with, and they matched within about two months. Their birth mother lives in California. Now here's the thing: the way the homestudy will be written by our local agency, even though the court legally approved only one of us to adopt it will be clear that both of us are qualified. The IAC picked that agency for a reason. They know what that report is going to look like. Now in California, the IAC can present that home study report to a birth mother and after the baby arrives, she can sign two relinquishments, one for each of us. We'll then return to Arizona with the baby after about a week. It will be six months later that we'll have to go to court for the adoption finalization. If we go to court here in Arizona, they will make one of us the legal parent (we have already decided who that will be but we are keeping that as a private matter). However, if we go to California, a lawyer can show two relinquishments and plead to the judge that the birth mother wants us both to be parents and we have a home study that clears the two of us. He can then allow us both to adopt the child with full parental rights and put both our names on the birth certificate (once an adoption is finalized a birth certificate is issued with the adoptive parents names and the original is destroyed). The state of Arizona will have to legally recognize this adoption and we'll both be legal parents! That would be incredible!

All states must recognize legal agreements of the other states. There is only ONE legal proceding that states can ignore. ONLY ONE. What could be issued to you in one state that the others don't have to recognize? I've got a virtual lollipop to the first one of you who can tell me what it is. Trust me, it won't surprise you.

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