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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Adoption 03-11-2016

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Adoption

In a ruling on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Alabama Supreme Court order denying a lesbian adoptive mother access to her children. The Supreme Court found the lower court in violation of the constitution.

In a unanimous decision on Monday, March 7, the U.S. Supreme Court justices overturned the Alabama Supreme Court’s order barring an adoptive mother access to her children and refusing Georgia Court’s verdict. The judgement was a direct rejection of the lower court’s ruling.

The two women, known as E.L. and V.L., were together for 16 years. They conceived three children through reproductive technology. Their daughter is now 13, while their twins of a boy and girl are 11. E.L. is the biological mother who gave birth to the children. V.L. adopted the children with explicit consent from her partner. The adoption took place in Georgia.

The parents, living in Alabama now, split five years later. E.L. denied her ex access to the children. The courts in Alabama ordered the women to share custody, complying with Georgia’s adoption rules. However, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed the order, claiming that Georgia courts wrongly decreed the adoption.

V.L. appealed the judgement in the Supreme Court. On Monday, the justices unanimously agreed to overrule Alabama’s decision. The Supreme Court asserted the state violated the “full faith and credit” constitutional which respects the judicial proceedings of sister states.

When the Supreme Court issued their verdict, the adoptive parent was happy. She states,

I have been my children's mother in every way for their whole lives. ... [When] the Alabama Court said my adoption was invalid and I wasn't their mother, I didn't think I could go on. The U.S. Supreme Court has done what's right for my family.

At James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys, we are strong advocates for keeping families together. In California, same-sex couples have the ability to adopt and their parental rights must be protected. For help with family law matters, contact our San Bernardino divorce attorneys today.

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