Seattle (CNN) - David Wing-Kovarik and his partner, Conrad, were ready to adopt a child.
They moved through all their requirements smoothly, even completing an orientation and training course for prospective parents.
Then they were confronted with their first real stumbling block.
"Our adoption agent said, 'Well, you both look the same on paper, so who's going to be the parent?'" Wing-Kovarik recalls.
In Arizona, where the couple lived at the time, only individuals and legally married couples may adopt from the U.S. foster care system. But because a same-sex couple cannot legally marry in the state, only one parent can be granted legal rights to the child.
"We saw (it) as a disadvantage to the child," said Wing-Kovarik, 47. "We, frankly, got very angry about it when we thought about everybody else that was in the (training) class. None of them were asked this question. And it came down to the fact that we were a male couple. This was when we first experienced how being that gay couple just adds to the complexity of the whole process. It makes it much harder."
In 18 states and the District of Columbia, same-sex couples can jointly petition to adopt a child. But in the other states, such as Arizona, the law either restricts joint adoption or is unclear.
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This weekend marks the 65th anniversary of baseball legend Jackie Robinson's major league debut. It was 1947, and he was the first black player in the major leagues - the man who broke the color barrier in America's favorite pastime. In celebration of the mark he left on history, LIFE magazine collected rare photos - some unpublished - that appeared in the magazine during the 1950s.
LIFE's Ralph Morse shot some of the images when he covered the 1955 World Series for the magazine.
“I didn’t know anything about shooting baseball. I planted myself between photographers for the New York Times and the Daily News, and when they pointed their cameras at something, I pointed mine, too," Morse recently told LIFE.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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