Why are Minnesota women having to adopt their own children?

Same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota in 2013. The people have spoken. So why do Minnesota women have to adopt their own children?

The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick reported Tuesday that other Minnesota laws were never changed when same-sex marriage became the law, so while a pregnant woman automatically is considered the mother of her baby, her wife is not.

They have to have friends write letters to the court as character witnesses and be fingerprinted, he reports. And it costs a fair amount of money.

“My name is on her birth certificate, but I didn’t have legal custody under the law,” Nikki Graff tells the paper. “My fear was that if something happened to Whitney, I would lose my wife and my daughter at the same time.

It was pretty simple: the state’s marriage law was reworded to remove the definition of marriage as “opposite sex” and to replace words like man and woman with “person” and bride and groom with “spouse.”

Lawmakers knew there were other gender-specific references sprinkled throughout Minnesota statutes, but rather than monkey around with language in dozens of places, they added a general statement that they thought would cover it. It hasn’t.

Typically, something like this would be fixed relatively quickly. But this is same-sex marriage. The Republican leader of the Senate won’t comment on the situation; he says no bill has yet been filed for him to look at to understand the problem or the fix.