Celebrate Freedom to Marry week with The Other Mother's blog carnival.
February 10 - Something Old
February 11 - Something New
February 12 - Something Borrowed
February 13 - Something Blue
February 14 - Celebrate Love
Of course, the first "new" thing about our relationship that comes to mind is Peeper.
Peeper is fifteen weeks and two days old but she (rather like her parents' marriage) still does not officially exist, according to the government.
That is, her birth certificate has yet to be issued.
A few weeks ago, I called our county courthouse to ask if they'd received it, and they referred me to someone with the BlueState Department of Health's Office of Vital Records.
At first, she had no idea why we wouldn't have a birth certificate for our three-month old, but then I started explaining the circumstances.
"What's the last name again? Oh yes, I remember you. You need to call . . . . "
So, I made another call, "What's the name? Oh yes, I have your file on my desk. We were wondering about that."
Um, so, were you going to call someone to ask about it, or just sit there and ponder on it 'til she needs the damn thing to start kindergarten?
(Actually, she needs the damn thing now, to get a Social Security number, so we can file our taxes, so we can get our tax refund, so we can pay our damn mortgage for a couple of months!
Not to mention that Shrike's insurance company would very much like that number, as well, since they've already paid several thousand dollars of benefits for her.)
But, I digress.
This woman told me that LawyerFriend needed to call their legal department, yada yada yada.
A week or so later, after the legal lady had not returned his calls, I finally got her on the phone, and explained, and then she knew what to do, and then she sent him a form that we had to fill out: Supplemental Report of Assisted Conception.
This is basically the form that's used for a surrogacy, to show who the "intended parents" are, if they are not the person who birthed the child.
(Nevermind that one of her intended parents did birth her.)
It came with instructions to fill out my information for the "intended mother" and Shrike's for the "intended father."
(So, when we finally get the damn certificate, is she going to be listed as Peeper's father? And how screwy is that going to be for the rest of her life?)
If we were married (and, therefore, the state had a concept of two women creating a family together) we could have just put both our name on that first form that we completed at the hospital and been done with it.
We wouldn't have had to go to court to ask permission to both be legally considered our child's parents.
We would not have had to ask permission for Shrike to be legally considered the mother of a child who shares half her genes.
But way beyond the legal issues surrounding her birth, Peeper deserves for her parents to be married.
She deserves for her Mama to get health insurance through Mommy's employer (more on this later in the week).
She deserves to be protected by our state's divorce and custody laws should, God forbid, we break up. (Which we have no plans to do.)
She deserves for her surviving parent to receive social security benefits should, God forbid, one of us die. (We have no plans of doing that, either. But one never does.)
She deserves for her family to have the same recognition and the same rights as any other kid's family.
She deserves equality.