FIA Family Explains how DOMA affects their Lives

Winchester, Mass. couple closely watching DOMA ruling

News Story originally broadcast by their Local News Station NECN. Click Here to read original story and to watch the video.

Joe and Graham are Adoptive Parents (with their daughter Emily) working with Friends in Adoption for their second adoption.

…. original story …

(NECN) – The Supreme Court ruling on DOMA will impact same sex couples across the nation. We talked to one such family from Winchester, Mass (video below, may not play on all devices).

Three-year-old Emily is enjoying having her two dads all to herself this morning.

“Papa,” Graham McMahon, works as an endocrinologist. “Daddy,” Joe Guarino, stays at home with her. Graham and Joe have been together for 10 years. They married in 2006.

“Our wedding was an absolutely amazing day. Our families were both there and my family came from Ireland. We were surrounded by our closest friends and relatives.”

Emily was born in 2009.

“I love staying home with her. She’s been an absolute joy. We actually just started the process for adopting a second child so we’re at the very beginning of that process.”

Living in Massachusetts means their marriage is legal and they get state benefits, but because of the defense of marriage act (DOMA), they don’t get federal benefits.

“As a married couple and for myself as a stay at home parent who doesn’t work, I’m required to get my insurance through Graham. Because we’re not federally recognized as a married couple, we’re actually penalized by having to pay taxes on my portion of the health insurance.”

Since Joe isn’t making money, he can’t contribute to an IRA or put money aside for retirement. If he were heterosexual, his spouse could do that for him.  They don’t have survivor benefits either.

“We want to be together until the end and we want the same protections.”

Despite the uncertainty of how the Supreme Court will rule, the couple sees a bright future for them and their daughter.

“I think part of what’s going on this week is we’re really hopeful that things will change in time and we’re really on the road to being just recognized like any other family.”

Sept 2014 Update: Joe and Graham have adopted!

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