The U.S. Supreme Court, without hearing oral argument, has unanimously reversed an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian adoptive mother who had split with her partner. The decision is a direct repudiation of an Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize a Georgia adoption.
The two women in the case were together for 16 years, and they had three children conceived by assisted reproductive technology — an older daughter, now 13, and boy and girl twins, now 11. The actual names of the parents have not been revealed. They are identified in court documents by the initials V.L. and E.L.
E.L. was the biological mother and V.L. subsequently adopted the children with her partner's explicit consent. The adoption was in Georgia, where both women appeared at a court hearing, and the final adoption decree recognized both as the children's legal parents.
When the parents, now living in Alabama, split five years ago, however, the biological mother denied her former partner access to the children. The Alabama courts initially ordered a decree of shared custody, based on the Georgia adoption, but the Alabama Supreme Court overturned the lower court orders. The state Supreme Court said the Georgia courts ...