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November 03, 2015

Pa. gay couple seek to reverse adoption, legally marry instead

A Pennsylvania couple, who are technically father and son by law, are trying to undo their adoption and get married now that same-sex marriage is legal, CNN reports.

Nino Esposito adopted his partner of more than 40 years Roland "Drew" Bosee as a way to gain legal recognition as a family, as well as to receive the related benefits.

Esposito, a retired teacher, told CNN that he and Bosee, a former freelance and technical writer, never thought same-sex marriage would be an option in their lifetime. Adoption gave them "the most legitimate thing available," Bosee said. 

The adoption process Bosee and Esposito went through was not uncommon. Although it is difficult to gather hard numbers, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, a group supporting the couple, says it learned that many couples in states across the country lawfully took advantage of adoption laws in order to protect their relationships. Now these couples seek to marry, but first they must confront state adoption laws that provide no easy path to annulment.

Now the couple wants to undo the adoption to get married, but a state trial court judge has rejected their request. He claims his ability to annul adoptions is generally limited to instances of fraud.

"We don't believe the Pennsylvania judge who refused to annul this adoption was unsympathetic," Witold Walczak, the Legal Director of the ACLU Pennsylvania, told CNN. 

"He simply felt that the legal path to doing so should be forged by an appellate court. The ACLU is hopeful that the Superior Court will apply established legal principles to allow annulment of adoptions by same-sex couples who can finally partake of their constitutional right to marry."

Read more from CNN here.