By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 03 2003 12:00 AM ET
The first baby born in the Washington, D.C., metro area in 2003 initially posed what seemed to be a problem. "Can we get a picture of the baby with its mother?" a photographer asked.
"Sure--which mother would you like?" responded Joanna Bare, 35, one of the baby's two mothers. Photos of the baby were taken with both Bare and her partner, Helen Rubin, 33, the biological mother, The Washington Post reports. And now the couple and their new baby have become an unofficial poster family for gay and lesbian parents seeking equality in parental rights.
Bare and Rubin moved from Vienna, Va., to Bethesda, Md., just last week because they say it would have been impossible for them to have shared full parental rights in Virginia. "Virginia does not permit second-parent adoption," said the couple's attorney, Mina Ketchi. "Quite frankly, in these matters of law, Virginia is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century--and we're in the 21st century. It is not a very gay-friendly state." Ketchi says she recommends that gay parents in Virginia move their families to Maryland, the District of Columbia, or Pennsylvania.
Bare and Rubin have been together for 12 years. "We eventually decided it was time to have kids, like anyone else would," Rubin said. "Hopefully, we'll be like any family."