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Same-sex couple seeks to legitimize family through adoption

The hurdles that same-sex couples in Ohio have to overcome in today's society can be quite numerous. Even with the recently announced presidential support of gay marriage, homosexual individuals are still struggling with certain roadblocks. Same-sex custody matters often hold many of these hindrances.

Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples often desire children, and often have to turn to adoption or in-vitro fertilization. About five years ago, a Florida couple chose the latter. The two women, 28 and 38, wanted to have children with one another and in their first attempt, had an egg from one of the women fertilized with donor sperm and implanted in the uterus of the other.

After a failed pregnancy, they tried again. This time, the same woman provided her eggs and four of them were fertilized. Two embryos were implanted in the other woman while the other two were implanted in the woman who provided the eggs.

All four embryos developed and were successfully delivered. The quadruplets are now 1 year old, but the women are having legal issues because of their new family. According to law, each woman only has legal custody over the children they birthed. That means that, though one woman is the biological mother of all four children, she only has custody over the two she carried and delivered. Her partner has custody over the other two children.

The couple is trying to adopt each other's children to allow for benefits such as this to cover all of the children, but the state has banned adoption by homosexuals for more than 30 years. In 2010, an appeals court found that ban unconstitutional but cases since this decision have taken a considerable amount of time.

In Ohio, there exists an agreement known as a co-custody agreement, which allows same sex partners to maintain some custody or visitation rights in the even at a couple separates or one of the partners dies.

Source: Tucson Citizen, "Gay couple faces hurdles raising their quads," May 12, 2012

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