Gay couple become father & son to protect assets - abc27 WHTM

Gay couple become father & son to protect assets

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A Dauphin County couple has been together for 45 years - and now they are father and son.

Because Pennsylvania does not recognize same-sex marriages, when one partner dies the other is forced to pay a 15 percent inheritance tax. So, the couple made an extreme move to keep what is theirs: one adopted the other.

The couple, who want to remain anonymous, went to Dauphin County Court to ask whether "John" could adopt his partner.

"The judge said 'Absolutely. There's no legal reason why I should not approve this,' and signed the adoption papers and looked at me and said 'Congratulations, it's a boy,' " John said.

Now, John and his partner have to pay only a four percent inheritance tax.

Their attorney, Marianne Rudebusch, said not all same-sex couples can adopt. It will not work for those who have all four parents.

"My dad's still living. He'll be 95 on the 4th of July and so I couldn't have two dads, even though it would be more logical for the elder person to be the father," John said. "I am 65, "Gregory" is 73."

The couple admits the arrangement is strange, but said they feel it is their only option because they fear Pennsylvania lawmakers will not allow same-sex marriage during their lifetime.

"And it's sad we can't call it a marriage in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but it is a really amazing relationship and we're very different, which is one of the reasons I think it works," John said.

If Pennsylvania does allow same-sex marriage, John and his partner cannot get married. The adoption cannot be undone; it is effective for life.

Although John and Gregory are happy with the outcome, they said it still not ideal because married couples do not have to pay an inheritance tax.


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