In big news coming out of the Supreme Court, it was the opinion of the Court that a decision made by an Alabama court refusing to recognize a same-sex adoption will be overturned.
When one half of an Alabama couple sought to have the adoption of her children be recognized in her state of Alabama, she was denied, even though the couple together had previously been granted approval by the state of Georgia. The couple has since split up, but both individuals are still parents to their children, as it would be with any heterosexual couple. However, the entire thing does start to get very confusing.
Here’s the run down via NPR:
“The two women in the case were together for 16 years, and they had three children conceived by assisted reproductive technology — an older daughter, now 13, and boy and girl twins, now 11. The actual names of the parents have not been revealed. They are identified in court documents by the initials V.L. and E.L.
E.L. was the biological mother and V.L. subsequently adopted the children with her partner’s explicit consent. The adoption was in Georgia, where both women appeared at a court hearing, and the final adoption decree recognized both as the children’s legal parents.
When the parents, now living in Alabama, split five years ago, however, the biological mother denied her former partner access to the children. The Alabama courts initially ordered a decree of shared custody, based on the Georgia adoption, but the Alabama Supreme Court overturned the lower court orders. The state Supreme Court said the Georgia courts had wrongly agreed to the adoption.
The adoptive mother appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and on Monday the justices unanimously overruled the Alabama Supreme Court in a short, unsigned opinion.”
Now, all of that aside, let’s just get it out there that this was a frickin terrible thing to do, and as a lesbian myself, to see a woman use anti-gay laws against her former partner as a means to try to keep her away from her own children is pretty much the lowest of the low. But I digress…
Thankfully, the Court sided with the mother who had adoptive rights in Georgia with the argument was brought up where according to the Constitution in Article IV, Section 1, where the “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” Basically, what’s good for the goose, better damn well be good for the gander, and all states need to respect legal acts and proceedings from other states.
According to Cathy Sakimura of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
“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. 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.”
This decision could affect up to 30 different states, according to a brief that was “submitted by adoption and child welfare agencies.”
If we’re going to have marriage equality, then that equality needs to reach across all levels of the law. This should include, but not be limited to, adoption, and worker’s rights as well. No one should be fired for being gay, which currently is still allowed in 28 states. It’s 2016, people, gay rights are human rights. There should be no difference whatsoever.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons