Family Matters: What If There’s an Emergency?

The vignette below is part of Family Equality Council’s
“Family Matters,” a storytelling series that highlights an LGBT
family each week. Here is Cindy in Virginia, in her own

My partner and I have 3 beautiful children that we are
raising together. Unfortunately, in the state of Virginia, she is
not able to be listed on their birth certificates as their second
parent. This makes our children appear to the world to have only
one parent. By not allowing her name as their parent, they are not
entitled to her social security benefits or her military pension
should she die. I, of course, as her partner, am not entitled to
these things either. We own a home together, yet we cannot file a
joint tax return because we are not legally married. We believe
that love is what makes a family and that our two- mom family has a
lot of love. Unfortunately, in Virginia, we do not have any legal
recognition. My partner does not even have the legal authority to
authorize emergency medical care for our children because legally,
she is not their parent. This is simply wrong and the laws need to
be changed to include ALL families. Whether the law says so or not,
she is the other parent of our 3 children and she should have equal
rights under the law.