'Father' and 'son' dissolve adoption in order to get married

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'Father' And 'Son' Dissolve Adoption In Order To Wed

Two Pennsylvania men who spent more than a decade as adopted father and son in the eyes of the law have dissolved that relationship in order to marry.

Norman MacArthur and Bill Novak have been in a relationship for 50 years but spent the last 15 years living under the legal adopted relationship in order to try to approximate the legal rights they would have had as a married couple.

Novak adopted MacArthur back in 2000 after they moved from New York to Pennsylvania. They realized their legal partnership wouldn't be recognized, so they turned to adoption.

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'Father' and 'son' dissolve adoption in order to get married
Bill Novak, left, and partner Norman MacArthur pose for a photograph near the couple's home, Friday, May 22, 2015, in Erwinna, Pa. The couple who were legally recognized as father and son has gotten a judge to vacate the adoption now that same-sex partners can get married in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Norman MacArthur, left, helps his partner Bill Novak down a set of steps after they posed for a photograph at the couple's home, Friday, May 22, 2015, in Erwinna, Pa. The couple who were legally recognized as father and son has gotten a judge to vacate the adoption now that same-sex partners can get married in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Bill Novak, right, and partner Norman MacArthur pose for a photograph near the couple's home, Friday, May 22, 2015, in Erwinna, Pa. The couple who were legally recognized as father and son has gotten a judge to vacate the adoption now that same-sex partners can get married in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Bill Novak, left, and partner Norman MacArthur walk down their driveway to pose for a photograph near the couple's home, Friday, May 22, 2015, in Erwinna, Pa. The couple who were legally recognized as father and son has gotten a judge to vacate the adoption now that same-sex partners can get married in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Bill Novak, right, and partner Norman MacArthur pose for a photograph at the couple's home, Friday, May 22, 2015, in Erwinna, Pa. The couple who were legally recognized as father and son has gotten a judge to vacate the adoption now that same-sex partners can get married in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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"It struck me as fairly unusual, but we looked into it and discovered that other couples had done it," MacArthur told Yahoo. "[Without the adoption] we would be legally strangers. [...] Most importantly, it would allow us visitation rights in a hospital, and gaining of knowledge if one of us was in the hospital."

Novak was two years older, so he was listed as MacArthur's father. However, after Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage was declared unconstitutional last year, the couple, now in their seventies, decided to vacate the adoption and get married.

MacArthur and Novak were wed on Sunday, less than two weeks after a judge dissolved their adoption, marking the first time in the state's history that an adoption between a same sex couple had been dissolved in order for them to be wed.

"We wanted to get the marriage done fairly quickly after the court vacated the adoption," MacArthur said. "At that point we didn't have any legal protection so we wanted to get it taken care of."

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