Same sex couple Stephanie and Desiree Bryan are legally married in D.C. But since Virginia doesn't allow second parent adoption, Stephanie is at risk of not being her own biological child's legal parent.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
Imagine awaiting the birth of your first child, but not sure if you'll be considered your baby's parent by law.
That's the reality of same sex-couples living in Virginia.
Preparing their nursery and packing for the hospital, Stephanie and Desiree Bryan are like any expectant parents.
In less than two weeks, Desiree expects to give birth to twin girls with eggs donated from her wife Stephanie.
But the Midlothian couple can't go to a local hospital. They will instead give birth in D.C . That way, Stephanie can legally adopt her biological children.
"If we don't make it to DC, as a matter of principle, I'll feel like the world beat me," she says. "And it's been proven I can't have what everyone else has."
The Bryans are legally married in D.C. But since Virginia doesn't allow second parent adoption, Stephanie is at risk of not being her own biological child's legal parent.
"People think is just about me having rights to my babies," she says. "It's about securing that social security benefit for the kids. It's for them."
The couple has a C-section planned in D.C. They have bags of supplies packed and are ready to go at a moment's notice.
But if Desiree's water breaks early and the babies are born in Virginia, the most Stephanie could be is a temporary guardian. If they make it to D.C. and Stephanie adopts, then Virginia will recognize them both as parents when they come back.
James Parrish with Equality Virginia tried to get the General Assembly to consider making second parent adoption legal.
Countless same sex couples with children pleaded their case to lawmakers.
"They already are the parent of the child," he says. "The child is living in the house with two moms or two dads but the state refuses to give them all the protections those children deserve."
The General Assembly did not pass anything during the recent session, but Equality Virginia will continue to fight for this issue.
As Stephanie and Desiree count down the days to being new moms, they hope their situation is one all parents can relate to.
"If they could just imagine that for a minute and feel what that feels like. I think they'll be able to relate to us and understand why this hard and unfair."
Rusty T. wrote: "Good for them. The people denying them basic human rights will have to accept being judged as bigots by history."
Kayla N. chimed in: " You do not have to be a biological parent to be a parent! Being a parent is more than being blood, and trust me, there are plenty of biological parents that are scumbags. So what if it's two women?"