Today the Supreme Court protected the rights of an adoptive lesbian parent. The partners, one of whom was the birth mother, the other the adoptive parent, split and disputed how to spend time with their children. While the adoptions of the couples’ three children had taken place in Georgia, the partners resided in Alabama and Alabama’s Supreme Court declined to provide legal parenting time for the adoptive mother. The Supreme Court ruled on the most basic of principles — that is, “full faith and credit,” a foundational Constitutional obligation of each state to uphold the laws and contracts of the other 49 states. In this case, the legally-binding adoptions from Georgia must be fully recognized and legally implemented in Alabama, thereby affording each mother equal status under the law.
According to Slate: “Tobias Barrington Wolff, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was a lead author on the amicus brief to the Supreme Court submitted on behalf of scholars of the conflict of laws—the field of law dealing with the operation of judgments across state borders. He told me Monday morning, “This ruling marks a major turning point. The court has reaffirmed that full faith and credit—one of the cornerstones of our system of government—applies to same-sex couples and their families. And the summary reversal and unanimous vote both signal to courts around the country that the obligation to treat same-sex couples equally in our legal system cannot be avoided, whether through clever tactics or outright hostility.”