Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

An Instant Family: A Kentucky Gay Couple Sets out to Raise Quadruplets, Knowing the State Recognizes Only One of Them as the Father. (Parenting)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

An Instant Family: A Kentucky Gay Couple Sets out to Raise Quadruplets, Knowing the State Recognizes Only One of Them as the Father. (Parenting)

Article excerpt

Since their three sons and daughter were born in Lexington, Ky., on July 26, partners Thomas Dysarz, 31, and Michael Meehan, 36, have been making daily trips to the hospital to hold the newborns to their chests while feeding them. "It lets the child hear your heartbeat while he's eating," Dysarz said. That way, he added, they know that he's their daddy.

The quadruplets--Jacob, Michael, Tristan, and Taylor--may realize that Dysarz is their father, but legally speaking, only Meehan--their biological father--has the right to call himself "Dad." And even though the babies' surrogate mother has agreed to relinquish her parental rights, Dysarz likely will remain only an unofficial father as long as the family resides in Kentucky, where state law does not provide any legal channel for gay men and lesbians to adopt their partners' children.

Actual]y, only six states and the District of Columbia have established legal precedent at the appeals court level that explicitly approves so-called second-parent adoptions. Nevertheless, there are steps Dysarz and Meehan and other gay parents should take to protect themselves in case one of them dies or they decide to break up, according to Ruth Harlow, legal director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. …

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