I photographed Becca and Cori's Western Massachusetts wedding in 2009, and have since become friends with them since they live near me, and since we both now have young children.
Becca is the birth mother of the super-adorable twins Leah (in yellow dress) and Abby (in pigtails). Because they have a same-sex marriage, her partner Cori had to file court papers to legally become the parent to Leah and Abby, even though she has, for all intents and purposes, been their parent since birth.
One July 12, I joined Becca, Cori, Abby and Leah and their families at the Court House in Hudson, New York when I judged signed the papers to make Cori's adoption legal. It was a wonderful, touching moment where it all came together.
With my background of documenting death penalty issues, and having sat in the courtroom many, many times, it was refreshing to see something good and beautiful come out of a court appearance. Even the judge seemed elated to be involved in something so positive - enough to allow me free range in the courtroom with my camera and enough to allow a full family portrait behind the bench! A truly rare moment in any courthouse across this country.
Congratulations to Cori and Becca for staying with the long, arduous system to see this finally happen!
|Waiting for the Judge to arrive.
|The Judge arrives and greets Cori and Becca.
|The Judge greets the family before the hearing begins.
|The hearing begins, with everyone gathered around the table.
|Abby and Leah playing under the chairs and table during the hearing.
|The Judge reviewing the paperwork
|Cori with Leah.
|The attorney explains to Becca the legal documents and shows the Judge's signature to make it official.
|Family and friends applaud.
|Tears are shed - both by Becca (at left) but also Abby (held by Cori).
|The first family moment.
|Cori with Leah.
|Family photo on the bench with the Judge.
|Whole group photo on the Judge's bench.
|Family portrait outside the Hudson Courthouse.
|Celebration dinner after the hearing.