Elizabeth (Beth) Kerrigan & Joanne (Jodie) Mock
Elizabeth (Beth) Kerrigan (left), 52, and Joanne (Jodie) Mock (right), 53, of West Hartford, are committed partners of more than 13 years and parents of six-year-old twin sons, Carlos and Fernando. And it is the concern for their family that particularly compels them to seek the right to marry.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure the boys are safe, secure and loved,” said Jodie. “Marriage is certainly part of that, because only marriage will provide our family with the full package of legal and social protections that other children of married parents enjoy.”
The women adopted Carlos and “‘Nando” five and a half years ago from Guatemala. In order to provide their boys with a connection to their heritage, they live in a city with a significant Latino school-age population, and in a neighborhood where there are other adopted children. In fact, their household is often the center of activities for neighboring kids and their parents.
Both Jodie and Beth work in the insurance industry and have lived in Connecticut for fifteen years, settling in West Hartford six years ago. Through her job at The Hartford, Jodie volunteers as a tutor and is The Hartford’s Coordinator for Reading Buddies at West Middle School in Hartford. The boys spend lots of time with Beth’s extended family from Long Island and try to see Jodie’s family in California, Ohio, and Michigan when they can.
The couple has taken all of the steps legally available to protect their family through documents and second parent adoption. They have chosen not to have a civil union, deciding instead to wait for marriage.
“As someone involved with long term care insurance, I’ve seen the difficulties that can come with aging and illness,” said Beth. “Marriage is the best way to ease our family’s burdens if Jodie or I face a medical crisis. It would be hard enough to go on with life and care for the children without also dealing with the additional hardships that we would face because we’re not protected by marriage.”