Diana Adams, a family lawyer in New York, has become the leading figure in the conversation surrounding the application of existing laws to polyamorous and other unorthodox arrangements. In 2017, Adams, who uses the pronoun “they,” founded the Chosen Family Law Center, which undertakes many such cases pro bono. They work with polyamorous clients who would marry if they could, helping them craft a legal dynamic for their shared life.
Adams thinks that platonic co-parents, too, should be entitled to some form of recognition. They described a woman who became disabled and whose sister moved in and became the primary parent of the disabled sister’s child. Adams drafted a complex trust so that they could make hospital visits, have shared finances, and buy a house together. “Family is really about people who want to take care of one another because they love one another,” they said. In another case, two male-female couples bonded as a polyamorous quad and were living together. In giving birth, one of the women had a massive heart attack and became severely disabled. Her husband spent the next year taking care of her in rehab centers while the female partner in the other couple became the primary parent of the baby. The husband of the second couple became the breadwinner for all of them. “Despite that horrific and tragic incident, they’ve been together eight years in that format, and they’re a beautiful family,” Adams said.
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