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Couple who are just friends allowed to adopt, judge says in landmark ruling

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Couple who are just friends allowed to adopt, judge says in landmark ruling 

The couple, who are not identified in the court papers, became friends in 2000. Later, they decided to adopt a child from Ethiopia but had to petition a court to put the man's name on legal papers as the second parent.

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The couple, who have been friends since 2000, decided to adopt a child together and went to court to add the man’s name as the girl’s father.

In a first of its kind ruling in New York, a Manhattan judge has given a couple who're just friends the green light to become legal co-parents to an adopted girl.

The pals identified, only as LEL and KAL, met in 2000 and have been close friends since, according to court papers.

Several years ago, KAL decided she wanted to become a mom, and LEL offered to be her sperm donor.

But when she couldn't get pregnant, they “decided to instead adopt a child together,” the court papers say.

“They spent years planning and hoping” for a child, and their dream came true in 2011, when KAL was able to adopt a child — identified as G. — from Ethiopia.

RELATED: AMERICANS IN CONGO FIGHTING TO BRING HOME ADOPTED KIDS

They traveled to Africa together to bring the baby home, but because they weren't married, only KAL was able to adopt, filings say.

When they returned to the U.S., the pair petitioned Manhattan Surrogate's Court to have LEL named as a second legal parent, even though they don't live together and are not romantically involved.

Manhattan Surrogate's Court  Judge Rita Mella ruled that a couple who are not romantically involved are legally allowed to adopt a baby, the first ruling of its kind in New York.

Tom Grill/Getty Images

Manhattan Surrogate's Court Judge Rita Mella ruled that a couple who are not romantically involved are legally allowed to adopt a baby, the first ruling of its kind in New York.

In a landmark ruling, Judge Rita Mella did so.

“From the moment they met G,, more than two years ago now, KAL and LEL have functioned as her parents," the judge wrote in a decision from last month.

“G. calls KAL ‘Mommy’ and LEL ‘Daddy,’” and “although they live in separate households,” they “have created a nurturing family environment for G., including a well-thought-out, discussed and fluid method of sharing parenting responsibilities between their homes.”

RELATED: MORE MEN ARE PROUD TO BE SUPERDADS: SURVEY

She splits time at LEL's house in Brooklyn and KAL's apartment in Manhattan, and they “also spend much time together as a family,” even travelling together to visit each other's relatives, the ruling says.

G, “a good-natured toddler and quick to laugh,” transitions “easily and smoothly between her two homes” and has “good relationships with LEL's domestic partner and KAL's housemate,” the ruling says.

LEL argued that making him a legal second parent was in G.'s best interests, and would provide her with better health care and school options, and a more secure future.

Mella agreed, and used a 2010 state statute allowing “intimate partners” to adopt as a basis for allowing the couple’s the adoption to proceed, noting that the phrase can mean a close, long-term relationship.

She also cited the findings of the social worker who observed the family in action, and determined that “even though their relationship is not based on what many consider a traditional family, they exhibit a love and respect for one another and clearly cherish the family they have created.”

A top matrimonial lawyer not involved in the case, Bernard Clair, said the ruling “expands the boundaries of adoption rights.”
by on Jan. 3, 2014 at 7:06 PM
Replies (11-20):
gludwig2000
by Gina on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:23 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

That is weird.

 


 

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Yes, but you need two parents together. That is the best case scenario. 

This way, it's like you have divorced parents who get along. That's why this is weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

That is weird.

 


 


gludwig2000
by Gina on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:44 PM
1 mom liked this

 I wouldn't call it weird, because I'm looking at is as how much he loves her, to give her his name and protection but it is different. I know that I've loved some of the kids that belonged to friends so much that I considered them mine as well, and would have done anything for them, and I guess that I'm comparing this case to that. Also, we all know that love doesn't know any boundaries, and I think that its wonderful for him to love her this much, and her mom as well. Again, to me its different but in a good way.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes, but you need two parents together. That is the best case scenario. 

This way, it's like you have divorced parents who get along. That's why this is weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

That is weird.

 


 


 

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I understand that love for a friend - but it isn't the same as for a husband and a wife who live together in the same house.

I don't buy it.

I know we probably need to agree to disagree here - but I still like you, and think you are a very reasonable liberal. :) Can I say that? I think you said you are a cross of a few things. Maybe a moderate? Or would you say liberal/libertarian, as I am a conservative/libertarian?   :)

Quoting gludwig2000:

 I wouldn't call it weird, because I'm looking at is as how much he loves her, to give her his name and protection but it is different. I know that I've loved some of the kids that belonged to friends so much that I considered them mine as well, and would have done anything for them, and I guess that I'm comparing this case to that. Also, we all know that love doesn't know any boundaries, and I think that its wonderful for him to love her this much, and her mom as well. Again, to me its different but in a good way.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes, but you need two parents together. That is the best case scenario. 

This way, it's like you have divorced parents who get along. That's why this is weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

That is weird.

 


 


 


gludwig2000
by Gina on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:54 PM

 It is never ideal for a child to be raised in a one parent home, but it happens all of the time, and my kids are living proof that you can raise happy, well adjusted, law abiding citizens in a one parent home. And yes, its okay to say you like me even if I'm a  reasonable liberal, lol, Carpy says I'm one of the good ones because I'm not progressive! Haha. I like you too even though you are a conservative, and I'm glad that we are both able to look at the individual and base our opinions off of what we've read from the other, instead of basing them off of political party. It makes things so much easier to do so, don't you think? Oh, and btw, yeah, I'm starting to consider myself moderate, or is that independent? I don't know, I confuse myself sometimes as well,lol.

Quoting SallyMJ:

I understand that love for a friend - but it isn't the same as for a husband and a wife who live together in the same house.

I don't buy it.

I know we probably need to agree to disagree here - but I still like you, and think you are a very reasonable liberal. :) Can I say that? I think you said you are a cross of a few things. Maybe a moderate? Or would you say liberal/libertarian, as I am a conservative/libertarian?   :)

Quoting gludwig2000:

 I wouldn't call it weird, because I'm looking at is as how much he loves her, to give her his name and protection but it is different. I know that I've loved some of the kids that belonged to friends so much that I considered them mine as well, and would have done anything for them, and I guess that I'm comparing this case to that. Also, we all know that love doesn't know any boundaries, and I think that its wonderful for him to love her this much, and her mom as well. Again, to me its different but in a good way.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes, but you need two parents together. That is the best case scenario. 

This way, it's like you have divorced parents who get along. That's why this is weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.

Quoting gludwig2000:

 

Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 

Quoting SallyMJ:

That is weird.

 


 


 


 

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 10:20 PM
Quoting gludwig2000:

 It is never ideal for a child to be raised in a one parent home, but it happens all of the time, and my kids are living proof that you can raise happy, well adjusted, law abiding citizens in a one parent home. And yes, its okay to say you like me even if I'm a  reasonable liberal, lol, Carpy says I'm one of the good ones because I'm not progressive! Haha. I like you too even though you are a conservative, and I'm glad that we are both able to look at the individual and base our opinions off of what we've read from the other, instead of basing them off of political party. It makes things so much easier to do so, don't you think? Oh, and btw, yeah, I'm starting to consider myself moderate, or is that independent? I don't know, I confuse myself sometimes as well,lol.


Quoting SallyMJ:

I understand that love for a friend - but it isn't the same as for a husband and a wife who live together in the same house.


I don't buy it.


I know we probably need to agree to disagree here - but I still like you, and think you are a very reasonable liberal. :) Can I say that? I think you said you are a cross of a few things. Maybe a moderate? Or would you say liberal/libertarian, as I am a conservative/libertarian?   :)


Quoting gludwig2000:

 I wouldn't call it weird, because I'm looking at is as how much he loves her, to give her his name and protection but it is different. I know that I've loved some of the kids that belonged to friends so much that I considered them mine as well, and would have done anything for them, and I guess that I'm comparing this case to that. Also, we all know that love doesn't know any boundaries, and I think that its wonderful for him to love her this much, and her mom as well. Again, to me its different but in a good way.


Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes, but you need two parents together. That is the best case scenario. 


This way, it's like you have divorced parents who get along. That's why this is weird.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 


Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 


Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 


Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 


Quoting SallyMJ:



That is weird.


 



 



 



 



You live as a Conservative, although that clearly annoys you.

JoJoBean8
by Silver Member on Jan. 4, 2014 at 10:32 AM

That's awesome.

Lilfootmommy
by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 10:39 AM
Good for them
gludwig2000
by Gina on Jan. 4, 2014 at 4:33 PM

 No, it doesn't annoy me, it amuses me that you think so. I am a moderate Democrat, which I believe makes me an old school Democrat. I am pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro marijuana legalization, pro prostitution legalization, pro American workers and workplaces and Anti Corporation re: tax breaks and loop holes. As a Democrat, I was raised to work, if that is what you are refering to and everyone I know works, we wouldn't do other wise. I was taught that as long as I was able, it was my responsibility to take care of my family, and I was taught that by a family of Democrats,lol. As I've said before, the biggest difference between the parties, was white collar vs blue collar, and everyone in my family is/was blue collar.

No, it

Quoting Billiejeens:
Quoting gludwig2000:

 It is never ideal for a child to be raised in a one parent home, but it happens all of the time, and my kids are living proof that you can raise happy, well adjusted, law abiding citizens in a one parent home. And yes, its okay to say you like me even if I'm a  reasonable liberal, lol, Carpy says I'm one of the good ones because I'm not progressive! Haha. I like you too even though you are a conservative, and I'm glad that we are both able to look at the individual and base our opinions off of what we've read from the other, instead of basing them off of political party. It makes things so much easier to do so, don't you think? Oh, and btw, yeah, I'm starting to consider myself moderate, or is that independent? I don't know, I confuse myself sometimes as well,lol.


Quoting SallyMJ:

I understand that love for a friend - but it isn't the same as for a husband and a wife who live together in the same house.


I don't buy it.


I know we probably need to agree to disagree here - but I still like you, and think you are a very reasonable liberal. :) Can I say that? I think you said you are a cross of a few things. Maybe a moderate? Or would you say liberal/libertarian, as I am a conservative/libertarian?   :)


Quoting gludwig2000:

 I wouldn't call it weird, because I'm looking at is as how much he loves her, to give her his name and protection but it is different. I know that I've loved some of the kids that belonged to friends so much that I considered them mine as well, and would have done anything for them, and I guess that I'm comparing this case to that. Also, we all know that love doesn't know any boundaries, and I think that its wonderful for him to love her this much, and her mom as well. Again, to me its different but in a good way.


Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes, but you need two parents together. That is the best case scenario. 


This way, it's like you have divorced parents who get along. That's why this is weird.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 


Yes, in most cases they do, but haven't you ever had a friend that you connected to on a very deep level, every level but romantically? That seems to be the case here, and they wanted the chance to raise a child together and this seems like the best way to do it for them.  Maybe they admired every aspect of the other person except romantically, and deemed them as the perfect person to raise a child with. Who knows? But I think that this is a wonderful thing for them to do, and see it as no different as single parents, or even divorced parents. They wanted this little girl to have every protection under the law, and now she does. 


Quoting SallyMJ:

Parents who adopt generally live in the same house. These two do not. That's why it's weird.


Quoting gludwig2000:

 


Why? They were both her parents except except by law. And now that he has been allowed to legally adopt her, she will get all of the benefits due to her from her father. 


Quoting SallyMJ:



That is weird.


 



 



 



 



You live as a Conservative, although that clearly annoys you.

 

Momniscient
by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM
Cool.
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