Landmark ruling

Supreme Court reverses decision that refused to recognize lesbian woman’s adoption

(David McNew/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed an Alabama court’s decision to deny a same sex adoption, USA Today reports. The case was brought by a woman identified as “V.L.,” whose former partner “E.L.” had given birth to three children while the couple was together. The family had established temporary residency in Georgia, and V.L. adopted the children. After the couple split, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that Georgia had erroneously granted V.L. joint custody because “the Georgia court had no authority under Georgia law to award such an adoption, which is therefore void and not entitled to full faith and credit.” The Supreme Court disagreed, however, ruling that “a state may not disregard the judgment of a sister state because it disagrees with the reasoning underlying the judgment or deems it to be wrong on the merits.”

The ruling is significant because it upholds the validity of “second-parent adoptions,” a procedure that allows same-sex parents to adopt the biological children of their partners. Around 30 states currently grant second-parent adoptions to gay and lesbian couples; Alabama is not among them. “The Supreme Court’s reversal of Alabama’s unprecedented decision to void an adoption from another state is a victory not only for our client but for thousands of adopted families,” said Cathy Sakimura, family law director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told USA Today. “No adoptive parent or child should have to face the uncertainty and loss of being separated years after their adoption just because another state’s court disagrees with the law that was applied in their adoption.”

Read the full story at USA Today.


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