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It took four years before Laura McAlpine could legally adopt the
daughter she had raised since birth. McAlpine and her former
partner had Amalia after her partner was inseminated with a
friend's sperm. Four years later, laws were enacted that allowed
McAlpine to legally adopt her daughter.
Laura McAlpine and Jeanne Kracher, with
their daughter, Amalia.
"After the adoption went through, I called my mother and told
her she's officially a grandmother," McAlpine remembers. "She said,
'I didn't need a court to tell me that' and I thought, 'Well I
But challenges lay ahead. A year after the adoption was
finalized, McAlpine and her partner split up, leaving them to
figure out how to handle issues such as custody and visitation
without the intercession of the courts.
"Even though we had done the (second parent) adoption, there's
no process for divorce because there's no legal marriage," McAlpine
says. "Right from the beginning, we wanted joint custody, but we
needed help to figure out how to do that."
From the beginning, they decided to put their child first, even
when McAlpine became involved with her current partner. "We always
spend Christmas morning together and Mothers' Day, with the four of
us. We've tried to work hard at this," McAlpine says. "Even in the
worst of the times, our attempt was always to put her first."
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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