Mike and I never set out to make a legal precedent out of Zoey. But when our AMAZING attorney Phil told us that Washington State law allows two gay male parents to be on the birth certificate WITHOUT 2nd parent adoption, we were stunned. When our Surrogacy Contract was drafted, Mike and I were placed as the Intended Parents. After Zoey was born, our Midwife filed for the birth certificate as soon as Zoey swam into our lives (she was a water birth). What happened next would take two months to unravel…. The clerk at Vital Statistics said that neither one of us could be on the birth certificate. We called our attorney Phil who then called Washington State Vital Statistics. Round and Round it went, for weeks. The state would not issue the birth certificate even though the law said we could. It got kicked up to the Attorney General’s office, as they interpret the law for this agency. They also said there was no “procedure” for putting two guys on a birth certificate. Our amazing attorney proceeded to make his case to TWO Attorney’s General attorneys. At long last, at 8 weeks, we had to go back to Megan for one last piece of paperwork. With our last sheet of documentation, Washington State issued the first male/male birth certificate for a Surrogacy Contract. Huge news. It’s something we hope to share with others, as it’s only right that other can have their families the same way, with full rights and privileges. Just like other parents……
Something for the parent who goes back to work:
I came in from work the other day. I walked in tired. I got my verbal greetings from my family just inside the apartment where we live. Being “dog tired”, I pushed off my boots. When I rounded the corner, I was greeted by this blast of love that caught me off-guard. Keep in mind I'm gone for a full day at a time (24hrs). I know I miss them, but up in my head, for them it's not so bad. Their lives go on, they have distractions, and I’ll be back when work is done. But both of them were focused on me. For the first time, Zoey's facial expression changed seeing me after so long. She started to wave her arms, then kick her legs. She made noises, she cooed.
Then it happened....She smiled. She searched my face, my eyes. And she smiled.
I don't have the words to explain the rush. Every stupid thing I was thinking about before I came through the door, my co-workers, City politics, in a single moment they were lost behind me in time.
I held Zoey for the next hour. I couldn't put her down. This little baby somehow missed me. And it blew my mind.
A day later, getting up at 5 a.m. for the drive, to be gone another day, another 24 hours. The apartment was quiet, both my babies asleep. The door handle hurt my hand to turn; it took one thousand pounds of torque to turn the knob. It hurts to leave them right now.
I was working the other night, and my "boss's boss" stopped me to congratulate me on the birth of the baby. This guy is a big man, and in our work environment (paramilitary), he normally has to be quite stoic. In this case, he told me about how it's important to "be there" for your kids. He shared how his 18-year-old son was about to leave home. He talked about how he said to his boy, "Son, I wish I could teach you more before you go...". He then described how they cried together, as they knew his son’s time was coming to leave to move on independent in his own life. It was very intimate to hear this big hulking man’s voice tremble as he described his son leaving. I could envision in his mind’s eye the baby boy still in the crib. I realized how there’s a brotherhood among men with kids, that I’d been welcomed inside, and I’m lucky to have someone share this experience.
I think I’ll go hold Zoey for a while…..