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I've been idly wondering about this for a while - I'm in the UK, where same sex civil partnerships came into law on my birthday two years ago. Now, say if I got a job in the US - would my hypothetical wife (by English law) be legally entitled to accompany me under US immigration law?<br><br>
I thought someone here might know!
 

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As far as I know, no, your wife wouldn't be able to obtain a visa with you as her sponsor (I am guessing you would be H1B and her H4). I'm not American, so no expert on US politics, but I think the Defense of Marriage Act prevents any federal government benefits (e.g. immigration) from same-sex couples. So it wouldn't matter if you were to work in MA or any other state that has gay marriage or civil unions.<br>
There is the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniting_American_Families_Act" target="_blank">Uniting American Families Act</a>, that is being considered, which would change the current situation.<br><br>
There is a small chance of both you and your wife finding an employer that would sponsor a H1B visa. You need to be highly specialized though.<br>
There's the (rather expensive) option of going to college on a F1 visa, too.<br>
If I were you I would look into B2 visa and see if there is a chance to use that one in combination with a H1B. But it would prevent your wife from working, since it is esentially a tourist visa.<br><br>
I also researched ways for both of us to move to the US, as we are working in academics and there is a demand for folks like us, but it seems impossible under the current laws. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Basically, the American federal government does not recognize same sex unions/marriages as legal. Period. Doesn't matter where a person was married legally, even if it was in the States. Clinton really screwed the queer community with DOMA, and we are really powerless to effect REAL change until it is overturned. (Which I do believe will happen, btw.)
 

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Come to Canada instead! You're already a member of the commonwealth, there are bazillian jobs to be had, a strong dollar, and legally married queers all over the place! What is your profession?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>starling&diesel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10277915"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Come to Canada instead! You're already a member of the commonwealth, there are bazillian jobs to be had, a strong dollar, and legally married queers all over the place! What is your profession?</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
My partner and I have been together for 6.5 years, and married for nearly five. She's an American, but I sponsored her for her Permanent Residence application and she just became a Canadian citizen this December.<br><br>
I know from experience that when we travel to the US to visit her family, we have to fill out two separate customs form to enter the country, even though we are married and live at the same address. Which is a huge PITA, because we have to divvy up the luggage and decide which one of us takes the baby. As far as the US customs people are concerned, we're nothing to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, it's a hypothetical question! One of my friends is moving to the States & is hoping that her girlfriend will be able to accompany her eventually, & that made me wonder about it. I'm not married & have no plans to go to north America at the moment.<br><br>
Thanks for your responses, interesting - & depressing/frustrating - to know <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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if two women are from the US, but they have family in Canada andgive birth in Canada, would their child:<br>
1) have dual citizenship and/or<br>
2) have both names on birth certificate and they would both be considered the legal parents upon return to US?<br><br>
would it make a difference (in Canada of course, it won't make any in the US) if they got married in Canada first?<br><br>
JD
 

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Snoopy- I'm not sure about citizenship. I think the child would have dual citizenship. However, the moms would NOT be considered legal parents of the child if the returned to the US, regardless of whether or not they got married in Canada. The US does not recognize ANY same sex union/marriage as legal, AT ALL, ever...<br><br>
My dp and I are in the process of doing a 2nd parent adoption here in NY, so she will have all the same legal rights that I do, but if we leave NY, she is considered a stranger to her daughter. There is no federal law that recognizes our relationship, or her relationship to her child. Many states have explicit laws that DENY rights to queer people that have been married/civil unioned elsewhere.<br><br>
The whole thing here is really crap...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>msjodi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10287205"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My dp and I are in the process of doing a 2nd parent adoption here in NY, so she will have all the same legal rights that I do, but if we leave NY, she is considered a stranger to her daughter. There is no federal law that recognizes our relationship, or her relationship to her child.</div>
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Wait, I know there's no federal recognition of marriage or civil union, but I thought that 2nd parent adoption was a different matter -- so if I live in the smallest state in the country, and give birth to a child who will be 2nd parent adopted by my partner, she will have no legal rights as soon as we cross the border, which is 1/2 an hour drive in either direction??? I had been led to understand that the adoption has nothing to do with marriage status or recognition or lack of recognition of it (as in, it will make no difference in the courts for our 2nd parent adoption in rhode island if we drive 1/2 hour and get married in massachusetts) but the adoption is binding and recognized everywhere?!!??!?<br><br>
JD
 

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Hmmm... I might be mistaken here. You might be right. I was told that the adoption would not be recognized in states that did not consider 2nd parent adoption legal, but I hope for our sake that I'm wrong.<br><br>
Does RI have 2nd parent adoption? (I was born and raised there and I would be proud to know that they do!)
 

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My DW and I are legal here in MA, but I wasn't sure about the whole legal parent thing, so I e-mailed the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Here's the builk of the response.<br><br>
"Because you are married, you and your wife should both be able to be named on your child’s original birth certificate. It is important to note, however, that the name on a child’s birth certificate does not confer legal parental rights, just a presumption of parentage. Even though there is a presumption that a child born to a married same-sex couple in Massachusetts is the legal child of both parents, NCLR strongly urges all same-sex couples to obtain a second parent adoption declaring both partners to be legal parents. Without such a judgment, it is possible that parents will experience difficulties in having their legal parent-child relationships honored when traveling in other states or when dealing with the federal government.<br><br>
In a second-parent adoption, one parent can adopt the child without taking away the legal rights of the other parent. Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, other are required to recognize the valid, final court judgments of other states. The 10th Circuit (a federal appeals court) recently invalidated an Oklahoma statute that refused to recognize adoptions by same-sex couples, affirming that final, valid judgments of adoption must be recognized in any state. Because this is a developing area of law, we still encourage you to contact an experienced family law attorney before moving out of state."
 

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Thanks Kat! and yes, second parent adoptions have been done in Rhode Island. Since its such a small state, it hasn't happened all that many times, but there's no reason to think they would not continue to be granted. and we did talk to a RI adoption lawyer who said it would make absolutely no difference if we bothered to get Massachusetts Married or not as far as the granting of the adoption.<br><br>
JD
 
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