Supreme Court: Lesbian Woman Granted Parental Rights

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Man waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court buildingMan waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court building

The Supreme Court didn’t need to hear oral arguments or a full briefing before ruling that the Alabama Supreme Court was wrong for refusing to acknowledge the parental rights of a lesbian woman who raised three children with her now-former partner.

The defendant, who was identified as V.L., adopted the children from Georgia and raised them all from birth. It’s unusual for the Supreme Court to decline arguments and a full briefing, but none of the eight justices dissented from the ruling, Reuters reported via Yahoo News. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Alabama could not deny V.L. her parental rights because they had been legally endowed in Georgia - under the Constitution, states are required to recognize rulings from other states.

“The Georgia judgement appears on its face to have been issued by a court with jurisdiction, and there is no established Georgia law to the contrary,” the Supreme Court wrote, according to The Washington Post.

“It follows that the Alabama Supreme Court erred in refusing to grant that judgment full faith and credit.”

V.L. sought joint custody with her partner, E.L., to whom she was never married. E.L. gave birth to the children with the help of a donor. The eldest child is now 13 and the others are 11-year-old twins.

Although the lower courts of Alamaba ruled in V.L.’s favor, the state’s Supreme Court, which is led by notably conservative Chief Justice Roy Moore, ruled against her.

”When the Alabama court said my adoption was invalid and I wasn't their mother, I didn't think I could go on. The Supreme Court has done what's right for my family,” V.L. said in a statement on the day of the ruling, March 7.

Although the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last June, they’re facing an increasing number of legal challenges as a result.

Sources: Reuters, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr

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