My partner and I have been together since college -- 13 years -- and we will be starting our family soon.

As we look forward to raising a child of our own, I'm also filled with a sense of loss. Not being able to legally marry means that my partner and I will have to jump through extra hoops to ensure mutual parental rights for our child. It means that one of us would have to pay a fee to have our names legally the same so that our family would have the same last name. It means that my partner may face legal issues at a hospital should complications arise due to childbirth. It means that some private adoption agencies may reject us outright as being a "single parent" or "unmarried couple." So as we go into this process with joy at expanding our family, we also go into it stressed with difficulties not plaguing legally married couples.