Same-sex couples in North Carolina have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on second-parent adoptions for gay families, saying it violates their constitutional rights and is discriminatory, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday.Click here to see the legal complaint.
The ban came out of a state supreme court ruling in December 2010 that only stepparents who are legal spouses of the child’s biological parent can adopt. Same-sex marriage has never been recognized in North Carolina, and in May, voters approved a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, so there is no way for same-sex couples to become legal spouses.
The ACLU, along with its North Carolina chapter, filed the lawsuit on behalf of six same-sex couples and their children. In each of the families, the child has a legally-recognized relationship with one parent and wants to establish the same with the second one. But under the state court ruling, the existing legal parent would have to give up their parental rights for an adoption to occur.
Consequently, the legal complaint argues, these children “suffer numerous deprivations,” including exclusion from a number of benefits, such as health, disability and social security, “as well as uncertainty about their ability to continue their relationship with their second parent if something should happen to their legal parent.”
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