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Pictures | Mon Mar 25, 2013 | 2:40pm EDT

Two moms, two kids, one family

<p>Mercedes Santos (2nd R) shares a laugh with her partner Theresa Volpe (2nd L) while playing cards with their son Jaidon (R) and daughter Ava at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. Santos and Volpe are a same-sex couple raising two of their biological children as they struggle to get same-sex marriages passed into law in Illinois.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Mercedes Santos (2nd R) shares a laugh with her partner Theresa Volpe (2nd L) while playing cards with their son Jaidon (R) and daughter Ava at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. Santos and Volpe are a same-sex couple raising two of...more

Mercedes Santos (2nd R) shares a laugh with her partner Theresa Volpe (2nd L) while playing cards with their son Jaidon (R) and daughter Ava at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. Santos and Volpe are a same-sex couple raising two of their biological children as they struggle to get same-sex marriages passed into law in Illinois. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (L) kisses her son Jaidon as her partner Mercedes Santos looks on at their home in Chicago, Illinois December 22, 2012.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (L) kisses her son Jaidon as her partner Mercedes Santos looks on at their home in Chicago, Illinois December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Theresa Volpe (L) kisses her son Jaidon as her partner Mercedes Santos looks on at their home in Chicago, Illinois December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe looks at her son Jaidon after listening to him play his fiddle at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe looks at her son Jaidon after listening to him play his fiddle at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Theresa Volpe looks at her son Jaidon after listening to him play his fiddle at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Mercedes Santos shares a laugh with her son Jaidon while playing cards at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Mercedes Santos shares a laugh with her son Jaidon while playing cards at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Mercedes Santos shares a laugh with her son Jaidon while playing cards at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (L) helps her son Jaidon (C) and daughter Ava make cookies at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (L) helps her son Jaidon (C) and daughter Ava make cookies at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Theresa Volpe (L) helps her son Jaidon (C) and daughter Ava make cookies at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Mercedes Santos helps her daughter Ava make cookies at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Mercedes Santos helps her daughter Ava make cookies at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Mercedes Santos helps her daughter Ava make cookies at their home in Chicago, Illinois, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Decals on the back of Theresa Volpe's car show the make up of her family in Evanston, Illinois, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Decals on the back of Theresa Volpe's car show the make up of her family in Evanston, Illinois, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Decals on the back of Theresa Volpe's car show the make up of her family in Evanston, Illinois, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Mercedes Santos (L) and Theresa Volpe listen to directions at a food pantry where they were volunteering with their son Jaidon Santos-Volpe in Evanston, Illinois, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Mercedes Santos (L) and Theresa Volpe listen to directions at a food pantry where they were volunteering with their son Jaidon Santos-Volpe in Evanston, Illinois, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

Mercedes Santos (L) and Theresa Volpe listen to directions at a food pantry where they were volunteering with their son Jaidon Santos-Volpe in Evanston, Illinois, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Jaidon Santos-Volpe (2nd R) uses a paper towel tube to "trumpet in" the arrival of his two mothers Theresa Volpe (2nd L) and Mercedes Santos (L) during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (2nd R) uses a paper towel tube to "trumpet in" the arrival of his two mothers Theresa Volpe (2nd L) and Mercedes Santos (L) during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. ...more

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (2nd R) uses a paper towel tube to "trumpet in" the arrival of his two mothers Theresa Volpe (2nd L) and Mercedes Santos (L) during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe helps her son Jaidon Santos-Volpe get dressed at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe helps her son Jaidon Santos-Volpe get dressed at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

Theresa Volpe helps her son Jaidon Santos-Volpe get dressed at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Jaidon Santos-Volpe (C) dances with his two mothers Theresa Volpe (L) and Mercedes Santos during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (C) dances with his two mothers Theresa Volpe (L) and Mercedes Santos during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (C) dances with his two mothers Theresa Volpe (L) and Mercedes Santos during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Jaidon Santos-Volpe (C) presents a Valentine's Day card to his two mothers Theresa Volpe (R) and Mercedes Santos during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (C) presents a Valentine's Day card to his two mothers Theresa Volpe (R) and Mercedes Santos during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (C) presents a Valentine's Day card to his two mothers Theresa Volpe (R) and Mercedes Santos during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>A Valentine's Day card made by Jaidon Santos-Volpe for his two mothers Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos is seen during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

A Valentine's Day card made by Jaidon Santos-Volpe for his two mothers Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos is seen during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

A Valentine's Day card made by Jaidon Santos-Volpe for his two mothers Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos is seen during the Valentine's Day Ball at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, Illinois, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (2nd L) arrives with her son Jaidon Santos-Volpe (L) and they are joined by her partner Mercedes Santos (R) to attend a Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (2nd L) arrives with her son Jaidon Santos-Volpe (L) and they are joined by her partner Mercedes Santos (R) to attend a Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois,...more

Theresa Volpe (2nd L) arrives with her son Jaidon Santos-Volpe (L) and they are joined by her partner Mercedes Santos (R) to attend a Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (C) and her partner Mercedes Santos (L) wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages with their daughter Ava at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (C) and her partner Mercedes Santos (L) wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages with their daughter Ava at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. ...more

Theresa Volpe (C) and her partner Mercedes Santos (L) wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages with their daughter Ava at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (2nd R) sits with her daughter Ava (R) and son Jaidon (3rd R) while her partner Mercedes Santos responds to emails as they wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (2nd R) sits with her daughter Ava (R) and son Jaidon (3rd R) while her partner Mercedes Santos responds to emails as they wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State...more

Theresa Volpe (2nd R) sits with her daughter Ava (R) and son Jaidon (3rd R) while her partner Mercedes Santos responds to emails as they wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe testifies before an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. Volpe is joined by her partner Mercedes Santos (R) and their children Ava (3rd R) and Jaidon (2nd R). Sitting next to Volpe is Illinois Sen. Heather Steans. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe testifies before an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. Volpe is joined by her partner Mercedes Santos (R) and their children Ava (3rd R)...more

Theresa Volpe testifies before an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. Volpe is joined by her partner Mercedes Santos (R) and their children Ava (3rd R) and Jaidon (2nd R). Sitting next to Volpe is Illinois Sen. Heather Steans. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (2nd L) and her partner Mercedes Santos (L) look over emails as they wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. At right is their daughter Ava. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (2nd L) and her partner Mercedes Santos (L) look over emails as they wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. At...more

Theresa Volpe (2nd L) and her partner Mercedes Santos (L) look over emails as they wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. At right is their daughter Ava. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe (L) holds her daughter Ava (2nd L) while sitting beside her partner Mercedes Santos and their son Jaidon as they attend an Illinois Senate Executive Committee at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe (L) holds her daughter Ava (2nd L) while sitting beside her partner Mercedes Santos and their son Jaidon as they attend an Illinois Senate Executive Committee at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013....more

Theresa Volpe (L) holds her daughter Ava (2nd L) while sitting beside her partner Mercedes Santos and their son Jaidon as they attend an Illinois Senate Executive Committee at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Jaidon Santos-Volpe (2nd L) plays with his friend Sam Crawford-Cloonan (L) as his two mothers Theresa Volpe (C) and Mercedes Santos (2nd R) speak to their lawyer Erik Roldan as they wait for the start of a Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (2nd L) plays with his friend Sam Crawford-Cloonan (L) as his two mothers Theresa Volpe (C) and Mercedes Santos (2nd R) speak to their lawyer Erik Roldan as they wait for the start of a Senate Executive Committee hearing on...more

Jaidon Santos-Volpe (2nd L) plays with his friend Sam Crawford-Cloonan (L) as his two mothers Theresa Volpe (C) and Mercedes Santos (2nd R) speak to their lawyer Erik Roldan as they wait for the start of a Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Theresa Volpe and her partner Mercedes Santos wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Theresa Volpe and her partner Mercedes Santos wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

Theresa Volpe and her partner Mercedes Santos wait for the start of an an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Jaidon Santos-Volpe is joined by his two mothers Mercedes Santos (L) and Theresa Volpe as they watch a performance by Jaidon's sister Ava (not in picture) at the "Beat Kitchen" in Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2013.  REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Jaidon Santos-Volpe is joined by his two mothers Mercedes Santos (L) and Theresa Volpe as they watch a performance by Jaidon's sister Ava (not in picture) at the "Beat Kitchen" in Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

Jaidon Santos-Volpe is joined by his two mothers Mercedes Santos (L) and Theresa Volpe as they watch a performance by Jaidon's sister Ava (not in picture) at the "Beat Kitchen" in Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Mercedes Santos (R) hugs her partner Theresa Volpe as they celebrate a vote by the Senate Executive committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. The Committee voted 8-5 to send the bill to a full vote in the Senate. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Mercedes Santos (R) hugs her partner Theresa Volpe as they celebrate a vote by the Senate Executive committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. The Committee voted 8-5 to send...more

Mercedes Santos (R) hugs her partner Theresa Volpe as they celebrate a vote by the Senate Executive committee hearing on same-sex marriages at the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois, January 3, 2013. The Committee voted 8-5 to send the bill to a full vote in the Senate. REUTERS/Jim Young

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<p>Jaidon Santos-Volpe rests his head on the hand of his mother Theresa Volpe as Mercedes Santos (L) watches at the "Beat Kitchen" in Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>

Jaidon Santos-Volpe rests his head on the hand of his mother Theresa Volpe as Mercedes Santos (L) watches at the "Beat Kitchen" in Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

Jaidon Santos-Volpe rests his head on the hand of his mother Theresa Volpe as Mercedes Santos (L) watches at the "Beat Kitchen" in Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

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