Court Ruling Allows Legal "Father & Son" To Finally Marry After Nearly 50 Years Together
Roland Bosee Jr. and Nino Esposito have been in a relationship for almost 50 years, but it's only now that they're able to legally wed. That's because Esposito, 80, adopted Bosee, 69, as his son in 2012 in order to be legally protected. Since same-sex marriage became legal across the nation in 2015, the pair have been fighting to dissolve their legal adoption so that they can marry.
That day has finally come!
From the Post-Gazette:
As the Post-Gazette reported in October 2015, same-sex couples have used adult adoption to protect inheritance and other rights before the law recognized their right to marry.
Once it did, the men found themselves in a Catch-22: Getting married required a court order dissolving their adoption, but in June 2015 Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O'Toole said the state's adoption law limited his ability to do so, unless fraud was involved.
Mr. Bosee and Mr. Esposito appealed; noting that other Pennsylvania judges had ruled differently, Judge O'Toole asked for guidance from a higher court. He got it Wednesday, when a three-judge Superior Court panel ruled that “under the circumstances of this case, Pennsylvania law permits an unopposed annulment or revocation of an adult adoption.”
“Although the Adoption Act does not expressly provide for the annulment of the adult adoption, case law does allow it in certain scenarios; and this case presents wholly new and unique circumstances,” wrote President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman.
Her opinion said other states had dissolved adult adoptions under similar circumstances, and that thanks to federal court action, “Pennsylvania law regarding same sex marriage [has] changed; same-sex couples in this Commonwealth may now exercise their fundamental right to marry. Therefore, where a same-sex couple, who previously obtained an adult adoption, now seeks to annul or revoke the adoption in order to marry, the Orphans’ court has the authority to annul or revoke the adult adoption.”
Wonderful news! The hoops gay couples have had to jump through in order to protect and be legally connected to those we love have been astonishing.
Esposito and Bosee plan to marry quietly.
“I’m sure some friends and family will want to do something,” he said. “But at our age, we’re not worrying about ceremonies.”