The nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage comes with some surprising consequences, but they aren’t exactly the apocalyptic scenarios imaged by the law’s opponents. Before the Supreme Court decided state bans against same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, some gay and lesbian couples used a loophole to ensure they’d enjoy the same legal protections as any other family: adoption.
That was the case with Nino Esposito and Roland “Drew” Bosee, who are technically father and son. Esposito adopted Bosee in 2012 after being together for 40 years. Now, they’re seeking to undo the adoption and proceed with their true relationship goal: marriage. Unfortunately, a Pennsylvanian judge has rejected their request, stating his ability to annul adoptions are “generally limited to instances of fraud.”
Esposito told CNN that “We never thought we’d see the day” that same-sex marriage became legal. Bosee said the adoption “gave us the most legitimate thing available to us.” But now, Esposito says, “We realized we could have a complete union, which is what we want.”
According to Fox6 Wisconsin:
“The adoption process Bosee and Esposito went through was not uncommon. Although it is difficult to gather hard numbers, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, a group supporting the couple, says it learned that many couples in states across the country lawfully took advantage of adoption laws in order to protect their relationships. Now these couples seek to marry, but first they must confront state adoption laws that provide no easy path to annulment.”
Judge Lawrence J. O’Toole, who rejected the couple’s request for annulment, says he’s “sensitive to the situation,” but notes his hands are tied, legally speaking.
“We don’t believe the Pennsylvania judge who refused to annul this adoption was unsympathetic,” said Witold Walczak, Legal Director of the ACLU chapter in Pennsylvania, “he simply felt that the legal path to doing so should be forged by an appellate court. The ACLU is hopeful that the Superior Court will apply established legal principles to allow annulment of adoptions by same-sex couples who that they can finally partake of their constitutional right to marry.”
Eposito and Bosee are just one example out of hundreds of father and son couples that now face the same dilemma.
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