I live in Greensboro, North Carolina, with my family. My wife, Megan, and I flew to Texas to meet our son, Jax, over 4 years ago, who is now 6 ½. We have raised him to understand that his moms love him and would do anything for him.
But Megan is his only legal parent.
Jax has cerebral palsy, so he takes a lot of extra care. If I were allowed a legal relationship with my child, which I currently do not under North Carolina State Law, I would better be able to provide the safety that all parents want for their children.
When we took Jax home from his foster home, we promised to provide the best life for him that we possibly could, but much of his equipment is denied from Medicaid. If I were legally Jax's parent, I would be able to provide secondary insurance through my employment. For example, he has been training to use a power wheel chair which Medicaid finally approved after several denials. It's been over a year, and it is still on order. His current wheelchair still needs repairs and modifications as he grows, which Medicaid will no longer cover, even though we don't have his new chair. If Jax were able to be covered under my insurance, we would have access to maintenance and other equipment that he needs to help him grow, be more independent, and be in less pain.
Megan and I were legally married in Massachusetts, but our home state does not recognize our marriage. If North Carolina would only legally recognize what our community already does, they would see us as a loving couple, who've made a lifetime commitment not only to each other, but to our son.
The fact that our state does not provide the security of marriage or adoption for us as a same-sex couple leaves us vulnerable to uncertainties that no family should have to feel. We are honored to stand before the court as plaintiffs in this case because we feel as though we are one of many families across this great state who want to provide care to our loved ones.