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CT Supremes Rule: Gay Parents Don’t Have To Adopt Their Own Children

Congratulations to Anthony and Shawn Raftopol, who at last are both considered the legal parents of their now-two-year-old twin sons Sebastiann and Lukas. When the boys were born, the State of Connecticut allowed only Anthony, the biological father, to be given full parental rights; in order for Shawn to assume them and be named on the boys’ birth certificates, he would need to go through a second-parent adoption. But the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled this week that because the men had a surrogate agreement with the biological mother, Anthony is indeed due full parental rights, and the adoption procedure is unnecessary. And so ends a two-year battle where the couple, who live in Holland and sometimes commute to the U.S. for work, no longer have to “traffic” their children across international borders. Says (a jubilated, we’re guessing) Anthony: “The state is, for the first time, recognizing the nature of the relationships that are being created thought surrogacy arrangements in general and IVF [in-vitro fertilization] in particular. That affects not just who can be a parent but the validity and enforceability of surrogacy. Connecticut has set the stage for other states and legislatures — the sky hasn’t fallen. Times are changing and we need to bring the family code out of the 19th century.” Of course, the matter isn’t entirely settled: The court ruling applies only to children born to a surrogate who has no genetic link to the offspring. That was the case with the Raftopols, who used a donor egg and a surrogate mother to give them two beautiful children. [photo: not of the Raftopols twins]

On:           Jan 21, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • ChicagoJimmy


      Jan 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KalperniaRena

      Whooo, go Connecticut!

      Jan 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawn Wiesinger

      You have stolen this photo from my blog. Please remove this photo asap. If not you will be hearing from my attorney. It is illegel to steal images that don’t belong to you. Not to mention just not nice. Take this image down.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sarah Goblot

      Great advancement! I’m so happy for them!

      Too bad this advancement in human rights is tarnished by not respecting the rights of others (re: the photo).

      Jan 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChrisM

      I bet she hates having her picture associated with a gay site. What bad publicity for tacky baby photos.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redball

      My goodness, how did she even FIND her pic here? In less than one day of its posting, no less.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker

      @ChrisM: No matter what her reasoning is, she has the right under US copyright law to have the photos removed. Queerty is undeniably wrong for stealing the pictures and publishing them without a license.

      @Dawn Wiesinger: I strongly suggest sending Queerty a DMCA takedown notice. You can probably find form letters online.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Emmy

      @ChrisM Copyright has nothing to do with whether or not it is a Queer site. If you don’t own the rights to an image you can’t use it. It isoffensive that you would claim prejudism when someone is asserting their copyright over what has been taken without permission.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard



      Jan 22, 2011 at 2:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adonis-of-Fire

      Those little kids are gross, they look like dead animals

      Jan 22, 2011 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erin

      Adding a link to the photographer’s site is not the same as having permission to use a copyrighted image. It is illegal. Additionally, using photographs of children without a signed release from their parents is also illegal. Just because the photographer has license to use a photograph on her site does not give you the license to use it on yours.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks

      Amazing that someone would claim the picture. The photographer should be thankful someone showed it, even if that was “illegel” or “prejudism.”

      Jan 22, 2011 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danna

      Whatever any persons motivation may be in this case copyright infringement is illegal and punishable by law. Not only could the photographer who owns copyright of these images bring charges against this site, so can the parents of the children whose image is being used.

      In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may award statutory damages to a sum of up to $150,000.

      You cannot fight for the rights of one while blatantly ignoring the rights of another.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adonis-of-Fire


      Little miss dyke how about you take a seat and get the stick out of your ass? Thanks.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker

      @Adonis-of-Fire: Danna is right, Queerty is wrong and doing something illegal.

      Photography is a hobby of mine. Much of my work is released under a CC-BY license, where attribution is all that’s needed to republish an image of mine. However, some of my work (mainly things that I can sell) are All Rights Reserved. I would be incensed if somebody took my work and redistributed it without me licensing it to them. In fact, I would probably send a DMCA takedown notice to force them to remove the infringing material.

      Most people assume that is a photo is on the Internet, they can copy it and use it for whatever they want. This is not how it actually works. In the US, we have something called “fair use” where copyrighted content can be used without permission in certain limited cases. Examples of this include making a parody of a copyrighted work, or publishing a still photo from a movie while offering critical commentary (i.e. a review) of that scene. “News reporting” is something of a grey area. If the photo were of the twins, that would be fair use. If it was just a generic copyrighted picture of twins, as in this case, then it is illegal.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker

      UPDATE: Queerty has silently replaced the infringing photo with one from iStockPhoto. I only hope they paid for a license, rather than googling “twin babies”, for which the photo is the first result.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danna


      Your intelligence is probably so inspiring to so many who are reading this article!I am so glad people like you feel compelled to contribute in a good and useful way.

      Bravo Queerty for removing the image in question and replacing it with what I assume would be a stock image.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks

      @Danna: Do you have any idea how tedious you and the rest of your law school study group is? You all get a B+ in Belaboring a Point 101. Now go away.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danna




      Jan 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks

      @Danna: back at you :)

      Jan 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg McGill

      that is not a stock photo. those are my children. how dare you use a picture of my children. take that down immediately. aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      Jan 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mands

      I’m surprised that those of you here applauding rights for parents, don’t think that the parents of these children should have any! Wow…that is simply ridiculous…and some of you can’t even see that endorsing one and offering abuse on the other, is so backhanded. I”m also offended that you should then bash someone who is not only a reputable, highly-recognised and regarded photographer, but also say her work is awful…wow! Dawnn’s work is stunningly beautiful, and if any of you are parents now or in the future, you’d be lucky to have her as your photographer, especially since you now know she’d go to any lengths to protect you and your children.
      This photograph is OWNED under copyright, and it is a legit request to have it removed. Dawnn is a wonderful person and photographer, I feel like some of the comments here do nothing to make this community seem like a place decent people would want to be….and Adonis, that language and abuse says a lot about the kind of person you are.

      Jan 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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