As we’ve outlined before, same sex adoption laws in the U.S. are pretty scattershot, with each state adhering to what seems like its own set of rules and precedents. Now a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court over one of the major cases working out state’s rights in same sex adoption has struck a blow against the parents in question.
On October 11th, the US Supreme Court declined to review Adar v. Smith, the ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that Louisiana need not issue an amended birth certificate with the names of a child’s same sex parents. His parents, a gay male couple who are unable to be married in Louisiana because the state does not allow same sex couples to marry, adopted the child in another state, although the child was born in Louisiana.
Louisiana says its birth certificate policy reflects state law prohibiting adoption by unmarried couples, whether heterosexual or gay.
According to lawyer Nancy Polikoff at the blog Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage:
A denial of certiorari is not a seal of approval for a lower court’s ruling, so it does not make the law worse than it already is. (As opposed to a loss in the Supreme Court, which has nationwide ramifications). That said, the ruling that stands is very bad. It is the crack in the door that other states, and their courts, may walk through to deny recognition to same-sex couples raising children in a variety of contexts. Its differential treatment of children with married parents and those with unmarried parents is also deeply disturbing.
Read more about the case and same sex adoption laws.