The idea for getting married was partly Kevin's idea.
The 11-year-old also thought it would be neat if daddy and papa tied the knot on the same day the couple met 15-years earlier on a softball field.
So Peter Mercurio -- papa -- and Daniel Stewart -- daddy -- started planning.
"I was walking Kevin to school one morning," Mercurio said, explaining to his son that he did not know yet who would conduct the ceremony, or where. And he said, 'Don't judges perform ceremonies? Why don't you try to contact the judge who finalized my adoption?' I said that was a great idea."
In Manhattan Family Court last July, with a few friends and family present, the state affirmed what the three guys had known instinctively for a long time: they were a family.
Their story comes as the U.S. Supreme Court gets ready to debate on Tuesday and Wednesday the issue of same-sex marriage -- the legalities, the politics, the social implications.
It is a personal narrative, though no less important -- than trying to figure out the meaning of the Constitution and the limits of "equal protection."
A day old and abandoned
"I found a baby!" Stewart's voice was frantic, and the echoes from the A/C/E subway station on Eighth Avenue only added to the initial confusion. "I said I had called 911, but I didn't think they believed me."
"I told him I didn't believe it either," said Mercurio.
But he rushed to the scene and to a remote area behind the turnstiles. There, wrapped in a dark sweatshirt, lying quietly, was a brown-skinned, day-old infant. Abandoned.
They could have walked away, but they stayed.
Authorities soon arrived and took the child, naming him Daniel Ace Doe -- for the man who found him, the subway line, and the sad anonymity.
The story made news.
A few months later, Stewart was called to testify in family court about.
The judge dropped a bombshell: "Would you be interested in adopting this baby?"
The answer was an immediate yes.
But Stewart privately knew it would not be easy. His partner at first wanted to go slowly, or not at all.
"My first reaction when I heard: 'Are you insane? How could you say yes without consulting me?'" said Mercurio, laughing at the memory.
The couple had been together three years but their careers as an aspiring playwright and social worker took precedence at the time.