Supreme Court sides with lesbian mom seeking adoption rights

Posted on 07 Mar 2016 at 2:21pm

Supreme-Court-BuildingIn a decision issued today (Monday, March 7), the Supreme Court reversed a decision by Alabama’s highest court denying an adoption by the non-bio mom in a same-sex couple from another state.

The full text of the decision can be found here.

The plaintiff, V.L., and the defendant, E.L, were together for almost 17 years and had three children before splitting up in 2011. The couple had temporarily moved to the state of Georgia so that V.L. could formally adopt the children.

But the Alabama court argued that Georgia had erred in allowing the non-biological mother to adopt the children without first terminating the parental rights of the biological mother.

Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow praised the ruling, saying, “Any attempt to deny legal rights to our families is reprehensible, and this ruling established that bias and discrimination cannot be allowed to undermine the bond between LGBT parents and their children.”

“Our client was in a long-term same-sex relationship in which she and her partner planned for and raised three children together, using donor insemination. To ensure that both had secure parental rights, our client, the non-biological mother, adopted the couples’ three children in Georgia in 2007,” explained Kate Kendall, executive director of National Center for Lesbian Rights, which represented V.L. in the case. “When the two later broke up, the other mother kept our client from visiting their children and argued that Alabama should not recognize the Georgia adoption.”

It is the first major Supreme Court decision impacting LGBT rights ruling since last summer’s Obergefell decision.

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