Citing new same-sex marriage ruling, Fayette judge allows step mother to adopt her wife’s son
|By Beth Musgrave, Lexington Herald-Leader|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Three weeks ago, that wouldn't have been possible.
A 2008 state
It was the first such adoption in
If Heyburn's decision is not appealed by Attorney General
"I expect the adoption practice to pick up significantly," said
In Callahan's case, her adoption will stand even if Heyburn's decision is overturned by an appellate court. Only Callahan and Crossen have legal standing to appeal the adoption, and they won't, Ewing said.
The adoption is more than just symbolic, Callahan and
"It means a lot to me and to her. It recognizes her for her quarter century of being my parent,"
When Callahan and
"I wanted all of us to have legal standing," Callahan said.
Before the adoption, if Callahan died and left
Callahan and others pushed the university to institute domestic partner benefits, which allowed same-sex couples and their children to receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples. One of those benefits is a discount on tuition for children of
Domestic partner benefits were eventually implemented at
"Now he is facing all of this student debt," Callahan said.
"Money isn't everything," she said. "But there are real material harms caused by this inequity in the law."
Most heterosexual couples don't understand the legal headaches that same-sex couples must go through, said
For example, if Callahan gets sick, she has legal documents to show that
"But you have to have those documents on you," Walden said. "If someone says that they are someone's spouse, no one really asks any questions."
"You can transfer a vehicle between husband and wife without paying a transfer tax, but gay couples can't do that right now," Blevins said.
Then there are mortgage laws.
"You can't enter into a mortgage without your spouse's signature in
But until the stay is lifted and the state issues clear directions, Blevins' office is not issuing any name changes or other services that same-sex couples married in another state might seek.
"County clerks will look to the attorney general for guidance on how to implement the decision should it stand," Blevins said.
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