Equality for Children with LGBT Parents
Organized by: Kimberly Leary
EVENT DATE Apr 26, 2014
November 8, 2012 was the greatest day of our lives! After three years of trying to get pregnant, we finally gave birth to a beautiful and healthy daughter!
Our sweet little family is finally a reality and we cherish and celebrate it every day.
Unfortunately, we’ve found we must also fight for our family every day, as the State of Utah and its elected officials continue to challenge our daughter’s opportunities for equal protection and treatment under the law.
Amber and I married December 2013, first in Washington state and then again in Salt Lake, when a Utah federal judge declared our home state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. Our marriage not only symbolized our commitment to each other, it provided our daughter with the stable foundation that all parents wish for their children.
Immediately after our Utah wedding, we filed a petition in state court for a step-parent adoption. Our goal, not unlike any other parent, was to solidify equal protections under the law for our daughter. Since Amber was the birth mother, I, Kimberly, would adopt as a step-parent. The next several months that followed included petitions, legal arguments, court hearings and formal opposition to our adoption by the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Eventually, however, we prevailed, briefly, with the help of an amazing attorney and a strong support network of family, friends and colleagues.
On March 26, 2013, a state judge finalized our adoption and our daughter gained two legally recognized parents! Among other things, this meant she would not be separated from me if something tragically happened to Amber. And I could now legally perform all parental responsibilities and our family would be recognized, honored and protected equally to every other family. What a day!
Then came yet another blow. The state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics refused a court order to issue an amended birth certificate listing both our names as parents. Shortly thereafter, we learned the Attorney General’s Office had challenged our adoption, along with several others, to the Utah Supreme Court. The message we take from this action is that our own state does not consider us a “real” family, deserving of the same protections and privileges as others.
In addition to the emotional ups and downs, this continuing legal action has taken a substantial financial toll on our family. But we are dedicated to the cause, and we are determined to continue to advocate for our daughter and the family we have created.
While this is intensely personal to us, we know it is bigger than our little family. Decisions made in our case could shape policy and bring much-needed changes to Utah’s laws governing LGBT families throughout the state.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Please consider joining our Fight for Equality by contributing through this site or sharing it with your loved ones. We’ve come too far to stop now. Together, we can change the laws in Utah to protect ALL families.
All donations collected above and beyond our legal fees will be donated to the LGBT Community Endowment Fund to support future efforts within the LGBT community.
The Leary Family