Adoption curtailed for lesbian couple
Judge instead amends birth certificate
Thursday, April 26, 2007
BY LINDA STEIN
Jo Brown's heart sank yesterday when she heard a judge say, "There's going to be no adoption today," just after she entered a courtroom.
For nearly a year Brown had been trying to adopt the twin girls she is raising with her partner, Robin Brown. Due to fertility problems, Jo Brown's eggs were implanted into Robin Brown through in vitro fertilization and their daughters, now 23 months old, were born. But only Robin's name was allowed on the birth certificate.
Although Superior Court Judge Gerald Council did not permit the adoption to go through, saying it was unnecessary since Jo Brown is the biological mother, he did issue an order to amend the little girls' birth certificates to add Jo Brown's name.
"He found that (Jo) is in fact the biological parent so she need not adopt," said Kimberly Gandy Jinks, the couple's lawyer. "He will simply give her an order recognizing her as the mother in fact."
"The order will say that my client has all the rights and responsibilities of a parent," said Jinks.
As the laws are written now there was no statute for Jinks to cite other than the adoption statute, she said.
"I'm a little bit upset," said Jo Brown. "They could have told us this months ago. Why did he have to wait for the article to be in the paper for a court date?"
The Times wrote about the Browns' plight earlier this month. Brown is a fictitious name. The Hamilton couple has requested anonymity to protect themselves and their children.
Jinks was also concerned that Council called Robin the "gestational surrogate" because "surrogacy has the connotation you're not keeping the child."
However, her name will not be removed from the birth certificate