An “intimate partners without benefits” case, from In re Adoption of G., N.Y. Slip Op. 23454 (Surr. Ct. Dec. 27, 2013):
In this uncontested second-parent adoption proceeding, the court is faced with an interesting question: may two close personal friends, who together decided to adopt and have jointly participated in all aspects of the adoption process, and have been, in fact, raising a child together, be her joint, legal adoptive parents? For the reasons to follow, the answer is yes….
KAL and LEL met in 2000 and quickly became friends. They worked together for a number of years and their friendship deepened with time. Because LEL was a very close friend, KAL confided in him, telling him of her plans to become a mother using artificial insemination. LEL offered to be the father, rather than having KAL use an anonymous sperm donor and then be a single parent. KAL agreed. After two years of trying to conceive a child, including a round of unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization, KAL and LEL decided to instead adopt a child together.
KAL and LEL researched adoption options and together selected Ethiopia as the country of origin for their child. They spent years planning and hoping, when they finally received the call in 2011 that a child was waiting to be adopted. KAL and LEL traveled together to Ethiopia to meet G. for the first time. They then made a second trip to bring G. home to New York. Because KAL and LEL were not married to each other, they could not adopt G. together in Ethiopia, so KAL alone adopted her.
Upon returning to the United States, KAL registered the foreign adoption in Family Court in Kings County, New York. LEL then petitioned this court to adopt G. and become her second legal