Society

Same-Sex Couples Can Now Adopt In Every State

| by Sean Kelly
A rainbow LGBT flagA rainbow LGBT flag

Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoption was declared unconstitutional on March 31, making the practice legal in all 50 states.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Jordan III issued an injunction against the same-sex adoption ban, citing the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The Supreme Court ruling "foreclosed litigation over laws interfering with the right to marry and rights and responsibilities intertwined with marriage," Jordan wrote in his injunction.

"It also seems highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits — expressly including the right to adopt — would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit," the injunction continued.

The order was filed in a suit against the Department of Human Services, which argued the adoption policy was unconstitutional.

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Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney in the case, issued a statement following the ruling.

"We are obviously thrilled with today’s ruling, but our clients are beyond ecstatic," Kaplan wrote to the Clarion Ledger. "And that is exactly as it should be. Two sets of our clients have waited many (almost 9 and 16) years to become legal parents to the children they have loved and cared for since birth."

"We hope that it should finally be clear that discrimination against gay people simply because they are gay violates the Constitution in all 50 states, including Mississippi," Kaplan said.

Susan Hrostowski and Kathryn Garner, plaintiffs in the case who have a 15-year-old son, issued a statement in response to the ruling:

We are so overwhelmed with joy. Our son just turned 16 on Easter Sunday and is going to get his driver’s license tomorrow ... For us, the feeling and the way we have operated as a family have never been impacted by this law. But to have this ruling and to be able to start the adoption proceedings tomorrow means everything to me. There is no greater joy on this planet than to have him as my son and for the world to understand, appreciate and affirm that he is my son. It means everything

Rob Hill, the Human Rights Campaign's Mississippi state director praised the ruling in a statement obtained by The Huffington Post:

This welcome decision affirms that qualified same-sex couples in Mississippi seeking to become adoptive or foster parents are entitled to equal treatment under the law, and commits to the well-being of children in our state who need loving homes. Judge Jordan has repudiated reprehensible efforts by our elected leaders to deny legal rights to our families. They are on the wrong side of history, and today’s decision confirms, yet again, that they are also on the wrong side of the law.

Sources: The Huffington Post, Clarion-Ledger / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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