I started a GoFundMe account because we live in Texas and our family is growing. You see, in Texas, even though Chentel and I were legally married in Iowa, Texas says "no you're not."
The Texas Family Code States:
"Sec. 6.204. RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION. (a) In this section, "civil union" means any relationship status other than marriage that:
(1) is intended as an alternative to marriage or applies primarily to cohabitating persons; and
(2) grants to the parties of the relationship legal protections, benefits, or responsibilities granted to the spouses of a marriage.
(b) A marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union is contrary to the public policy of this state and is void in this state."
Thank you Texas.
When our daughter is born, I will have no legal rights to her. NONE. If she needs medical attention or emergency services or anything a parent must give consent for, I have no say. I wouldn't even be able to enroll her in school or sign a permission slip. God forbid, if something happens to Chentel, I would lose my daughter to her parents, (who Texas recognizes as her "next of kin"), in Missouri. She would be taken away from me. Nonetheless, Texas would look into my eyes and tell me I don't exist; that I'm not her Mother.
The only way I can be seen as my daughter's parent, is to adopt her. I am seeking help in funding my "Second Parent Adoption." Here's the info on what a second parent adoption is and what it does for LGBT families:
Second Parent Adoption
For same-sex couples, it is often the case that there is only one legal parent even though two people may equally parent the child and think of themselves as co-parents. This is because the status as a legal parent is automatically conveyed to the parent who has a biological connection to a child, such as a biological mom or biological dad. Similarly, while some couples raise an adopted child together, only one of them may have officially become the adoptive parent because some agencies prohibit same-sex couples from adopting together but permit an LGBT individual to do so.
A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the "first parent" losing any parental rights. In this way, the child comes to have two legal parents.
So, if you have it in your heart to help us, we would greatly appreciate it. I want my daughter to have the best life possible. I want to be able to provide her a stable home environment in which she never has to worry about her Mommies or getting to be with us.
Photo by Candace Cofer
Photo by Candace Cofer
If you would like to see the rest of our maternity photos, please visit:
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