Patterico's Pontifications


You Be the Judge: When the Will Requires the Son to Marry Any Grandson’s “Mother,” Is Marrying a Gay Partner Enough?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:08 pm


A gay man and his longtime partner decide to become parents using a surrogate mother. Shortly after their son is born, the couple gets married. But there’s a catch for this modern family: A will left by the man’s wealthy father decrees that he must marry the mother for the child to collect an inheritance.

That quandary has prompted the man, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert M. Mandelbaum, to contest the will in surrogate’s court.

Mandelbaum has filed a petition on behalf of his now 2-year-old son, Cooper, that argues that a condition that might “induce the beneficiary to enter into a sham marriage of convenience” should be invalid.
The petition makes two further arguments: that Mandelbaum’s partner could be considered the boy’s “mother,” and that excluding the boy from sharing in the family fortune would run counter to public policies protecting same-sex marriages and their offspring.

The petition portrays the father as being accepting of his son’s lifestyle. But the will doesn’t make clear why the father appeared to contradict that when it came to his estate.

To fully understand the issue, you need to follow the link and read the whole thing. The will excludes any

adopted child of Robert, if adopted while Robert is a single person, or a biological child of Robert … if Robert shall not be married to the child’s mother within six months of the child’s birth.”

Mandelbaum’s dad died in 2007. Mandelbaum fathered his son with a surrogate mother a couple of years later. The boy was born in 2010, and Mandelbaum married his gay partner within six months. The birth certificate lists Mandelbaum’s partner as the boy’s “mother” — though one suspects this was done with the contents of the will in mind.

How would you rule on this and why?

R.I.P. Neil Armstrong

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:04 pm

Neil Armstrong is one of those people I always thought I’d meet, somehow. Like Isaac Asimov, he was a man I strongly admired and, as weird as it sounds, I just assumed that somehow, somewhere, our paths would cross.

But of course Armstrong did not seek the spotlight and almost never made public appearances. And time passes, and you wake up one morning and find that another one of your heroes is gone.

My mom sat me in front of the television in July 1969 so that I could watch the Moon landing live. I wasn’t quite a year old, and the experts tell me that I can’t remember it, but I could swear I do. I suppose I could be confusing the memory with rebroadcasts on subsequent anniversaries. But the fact remains: I watched it. I Was There, in the virtual way that everyone but two people (sorry Michael Collins) had to experience the event.

It’s impossible to overstate the place Neil Armstrong holds in human history — as does Buzz Aldrin, whose book Magnificent Desolation I have read and strongly recommend, and who I now realize I am going to have to make a special effort to meet. Footprints from the Apollo missions can still be seen on the Moon, and will likely last for millions of years.

Farewell to a true American hero.

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