In the US, a father and his adoptive son are looking to marry, but it’s not what you may think. The pair were a couple prior to the adoption, and were seeking legal rights similar to that of other families. Prior to the Supreme Court making same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states in the US, adoption was the best option for many same-sex couples.
Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption
Retired teacher, Nino Esposito and his partner Drew Bosee, legally became father and son three years ago in order to be recognised as family, as opposite-sex couples would be through marriage. The couple had been together for 40 years.
In light of the legal developments in the area of family law, the couple wish to have the adoption annulled so that they may marry. However, a court judge has rejected their request for annulment. Mr Bosee, aged 68, said:
“We thought never in our lifetime — or in 20 lifetimes — would same-sex marriage happen, [The adoption] gave us the most legitimate thing available to us.”
Same-Sex Marriage Law
A civil liberties union from Pennsylvania, ACLU has stated that this is not an uncommon situation and that many couples all across the US have taken advantage of adoption laws in order to be recognised as a family. Mr Bosee and Mr Esposito decided to go ahead with the adoption when they are revising their wills, after they realised there were a number of discriminative charges for unmarried couples.In the US, inheritance tax is set at 15 percent for non-relatives whereas bequests made to family members are charged at only 4 percent.
The case for annulment of the adoption was heard by Judge Lawrence J O’Toole, of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, who rejected the requested “because they are legally father and son” and thus would not be permitted to marry. However, this may not be the end for the couples hopes of marrying as Mr O’Toole went on to say:
“This Court welcomes direction from our appellate courts in handling parallel cases,”
Democratic Senator for Pennsylvania, Bob Casey is sympathetic to the case and that of other couples who have found themselves in a similar situation. He said:
“I wasn’t aware that LGBT couples were turning to this method. I can’t even imagine having to get an adoption petition approved in order to visit a loved one in the hospital. LGBT couples should have the right to obtain a marriage license, no matter the state or jurisdiction in which they reside.”
Hopefully, more couples facing this issue will come forward and a precedent for the types of cases will be set allowing sham adoptions to be annulled.
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