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NY Governor signs law permitting joint adoptions for unmarried partners

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A new New York State law permits unmarried partners — including gay couples — to jointly adopt a child.

Governor David Paterson announced Sunday that he signed the adoption bill, which was effective immediately.

The law also substitutes the gender-neutral term “married couple” in the adoption statute for “husband and wife.” According to sponsors, that partly codifies state appeals court rulings and clears up complications from joint adoption as a two-step process.

Gay individuals can already legally adopt in New York, but state law does not permit same-sex marriages. However, state courts have recognized such marriages legally conducted elsewhere.

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