(Blogmensgo, gay blog of March 10, 2016) On March 7, 2016, the judges of the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided that a lesbian adoptive mother has parental rights for the children of her ex-partner.
Brief case overview
The case at hand was about a legal fight between two lesbian mothers.
The two women had lived together in Alabama for sixteen years. One of the two had born three children after artificial insemination, and the other one had adopted those children subsequently in the state of Alabama where this was legally possible.
Five years ago, the two women separated, and the biological mother did not grant the other woman visiting rights for the children nor the status of a legal guardian.
At first instance, the adoptive mother was granted those rights. However, the Supreme Court of Alabama (the second instance), later revoked the lower-court decision arguing that the adoption, which had been done in Georgia, was not legally valid in Alabama.
A decision of national importance
The federal Supreme Court later invalidated the second instance decision unanimously.
The US Supreme Court decided without hearing either party and simply based on the facts and files. The very short opinion of the court proves that there were not any legal ambiguities in this case.
In other words, this judgment means that any adoption involving same-sex partners performed in any state of the USA is valid anywhere across the United States – although only 30 states currently allow adoptions by same-sex partners.
The story goes on...
The US Supreme Court has not finally settled the case but sent it back to the Alabama Supreme Court for a new judgment. However, the adoptive mother has already been granted all parental rights in the meantime.
In 2015, the US Supreme Court had already reversed another decision made by the Alabama Supreme Court: The presiding judge of the Alabama Supreme Court had ordered that no marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples in Alabama. Last December however, the US Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional, and so same-sex couples have been granted marriage licenses in Alabama since March 5, 2016.