Monday, September 21, 2015

No to Lesbian Adoption: Supreme Court in Alabama

The Alabama Supreme Court overturned the Alabama family court decision to recognize a 2007 Georgia adoption of three children by the lesbian lover of their mother.  After the Alabama lesbian couple separated in 2011, the Jefferson County mother fought (in Alabama court) against visitation rights granted her former lover, claiming that the Georgia adoption was invalid because neither lesbian was ever a Georgia resident.

For background, read Alabama Supreme Court Says Ignore Federal Court — 'Gay Marriage'

-- From "Alabama Court Refuses to Recognize Lesbian Mother's Adoption" by Kim Chandler, Associated Press 9/18/15

The Alabama justices said a Georgia court was wrong to allow the adoptions, arguing that Georgia law doesn't allow such second-parent adoptions.

The Alabama justices said "Georgia law makes no provision for a non-spouse to adopt a child without first terminating the parental rights of the current parents."

The justices said since the children's biological mother maintained her parental rights, the Georgia court "was not empowered to enter the Georgia judgment declaring (her) to be an adoptive parent of the children."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alabama court voids lesbian couple's Georgia adoption agreement" by Reuters Media 9/19/15

After breaking up in 2011, one woman in the relationship, referred to as V.L., filed a petition in Alabama in 2013 saying she was being denied parental rights by her former partner, referred to as E.L., the biological mother of the children.

In a seven-to-one decision, the court said "the Georgia court was not empowered to enter the Georgia judgment declaring V.L. to be an adoptive parent of the children. ... The Georgia judgment is accordingly void, and the full faith and credit clause does not require the courts of Alabama to recognize that judgment."

The lawyer for E.L., Randall Nichols, said via email that his client was pleased with the decision but regards it as a private family matter.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alabama Supreme Court says state doesn't have to recognize lesbian adoption from Georgia" by Kent Faulk, The Birmingham News 9/18/15

Alabama has the authority to determine who may adopt based on the best interest of the child to be adopted, [Alabama Justice Tom] Parker wrote. "To this end, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that a state has a legitimate interest in encouraging a stable and nurturing environment for an adopted child by encouraging that the child be raised in the optimal family structure with both a father and a mother," he wrote.

The women had been in a long term relationship and had three children through artificial insemination. The non-biological mother, V.L., adopted the children in Georgia. The biological mother participated in that process and consented in to the adoptions.

When the parents later broke up, the biological mother, E.L., kept V.L. from seeing the children, according to V.L.'s attorneys. V.L. sought visitation in Alabama, where the family lives. E.L. opposed her request, arguing that the Georgia adoption was invalid in Alabama.

The case was first appealed to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. That court ruled in October 2014 that the Jefferson County judge had erred when he granted V.L. visitation rights. But then that appeals court reversed itself in February. The case was then appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.