Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gay Couples Sue Over Second-Parent Adoption Ban in North Carolina

I've posted about this issue in North Carolina before (see here and here), and now the ACLU is suing on behalf of gay couples prevented from doing second-parent adoptions:
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.

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.”
Click here to see the legal complaint.

1 comment:

-J.D. Humenay said...

What a tough issue. No matter what folks feel about the hot gay-marriage topic, I think everyone agrees that EVERY child deserves EVERY chance at a stable home environment. In states where there are no common-law marriages, it might be a great back-up plan. If something every happened to one adoptive parent, having some place secure for the child to go to might not be a bad idea, right? Then again, do kids really care if their family isn't legally married anymore? My biological 1/2 sister has parents who aren't married, and she doesn't seem to mind (though she's going to be in my wedding in August, so I bet the topic will come up! lol)