Marriage Equality is finally here!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 is a very happy day, okay I will say it, it is a very gay day… for more reasons then many may ever realize! Marriage Equality is finally here.

By Michele Fried, Adoption STAR Founder & CEO

Michele Fried

Last summer, during a party my husband and I were hosting, we learned that gay marriage became legal in New York Sate. And while this spectacular news arrived we also knew it was far from equal.

LGBT families are just like all other families, but because of DOMA that was not the really the case.

Many of Adoption STAR’s clients who are same-sex couples had to file separate federal taxes listing themselves as single even though they are married. Not only do couples no longer need to “lie” about who they are, the financial impact will also be great as we expect the reversal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) to save same-sex couples money on insurance premiums, and hopefully make estate planning easier. It should certainly help both parents have equal rights with regard to their children especially when they give birth, or adopt in states where same-sex couples can not adopt together.

For those who were able to take advantage of the Adoption Tax Credit may not have realized that same-sex adoptive parents were denied as the HRC writes, “consistent access to the adoption tax credit by the IRS.” In addition, they write: “Current IRS guidance and practice also prevents many same-sex parents from taking advantage of other tax benefits designed to ease the financial burdens of raising children. Under federal tax law, parents of a “qualifying child” have access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Care Tax Credit, the Dependent Tax Credit and others. Many same-sex parents are denied these benefits because they live in jurisdictions that do not allow gay and lesbian couples to utilize joint or second parent adoptions.”

But more than the financial benefit, it is about recognition, a big step for civil rights and even a bigger step for the little girls and boys whose parents are finally being recognized as the very real parents that they are. Congratulations everyone!

Read More on What is Happening at Adoption STAR: Our Calendar of Events for 2013