Federal Court in Louisiana Rules In Favor of Gay Adoptive Fathers

flag-rainbow1In New Orleans, a gay couple from California has won an important victory after U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey ruled that their adopted son’s Louisiana birth certificate must bear both of their names as the adoptive fathers. Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith of San Diego will be jointly listed under a full faith and credit ruling that could signal a major advance for gay couples and parents.

For many years, there has been a concern over whether the full faith and credit clause would force states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Bill Clinton and others opposed such efforts and passed legislation to confine marriage to heterosexual couples. Zainey’s ruling shows that the clause could trump such federal and state policies.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office supported the decision to refuse to list the names as joint fathers. The office argued that this goes beyond the same-sex issue since Louisiana law does not let two unmarried people adopt a child together, regardless of sex.

As we turn to the next chapter in the same-sex marriage debate, any full faith and credit ruling will be important. If such rulings increase, it will not only give new hope to equal treatment for gay and lesbian couples but it would also likely trigger a federal constitutional amendment fight.

For the full story, click here.

20 thoughts on “Federal Court in Louisiana Rules In Favor of Gay Adoptive Fathers”

  1. I think Mespo is right on and I also believe that any good person whetehr gay or straight should be OK to adopt. Of course, I do not include trolls like MSNBC, et al, as good person’s so we better keep an eye on them.

  2. Terri:

    “If they don’t know who they are suppose to have sex with as in ( man and woman) than how do we know they will not have sex with the child? They are living in immorality!!!!”
    ********************

    Well then I suppose that Jesus himself repeatedly and vociferously condemned the practice. Nope not there! Well I guess either you’re wrong or Jesus is. Now which is it? What century are you from?

  3. If they don’t know who they are suppose to have sex with as in ( man and woman) than how do we know they will not have sex with the child? They are living in immorality!!!!

  4. Continuous follow up checks on the children?

    Follow up checks are for children in foster care. Once adopted, the state has no further involvement in the child beyond that of any other child in the custody of its parents.

    Continuous follow up checks are for police states. Once a child is adopted, that child belongs to the parents who adopted him and the agency or the state has and should have no further role.

  5. I see nothing wrong with gay people adopting children. Anyone who lovingly wants to welcome a child into their homes, should be allowed to do so, with good intentions.

    I read tons of stories about straight people that were either foster parents or adoptive parents that abused children in horrible ways.

    All I’d like to see is tougher background checks and continueous follow up check ups on the children.

  6. Chuck Butcher 1, December 29, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    “Waynbro,
    While there might be a good medical reason to know, I can think of a lot of reasons you might be glad not to know. When it comes to putting up a child for adoption, one thing you can be sure of is that person’s life was a mess. How big a mess you might not want to know”

    Thanks Chuck, but usually only those who know something about their history could say that.

    Trust me, you want to know either way. True they could be anything from criminals to kings and anything in between but you still want to know. I’ve never run from truth, in fact I run towards it. So regardless of who they were and what they did, I would still want to know. Only those who were not adopted (with no knowledge of any kin) can know what its like to not know “ANYONE” related to you. That singular feeling of exclusion from the general “interrelated” population. It tends to be an isolating feeling. I speak from experience but if you doubt me there’s plenty of good textbooks out there who will second me on that.

    I don’t know what its like to have physical traits in common with someone. I don’t know what its like to have “my fathers eyes” or my “mothers smile”. I don’t know what its like to have someone mimic my mannerisms or who sounds just like me. For me it seems like its all you inter-related folks and me. Just once I’d like to see what my mothers eyes looked like, or what my father chose to do for a living. I’d like to know who my grandparents were, and what country they came from. I’d like to know what my father did in the war and what my grandfather did in the great war, and where they lived. There is no hole as empty in me I think as the one that is left in not knowing anything about my roots. Its like having no history.

    Most adoptees in the US know or have knowledge of at least one biological relation. That’s a statistical fact. Only a very few have zero knowledge of any relations whatsoever. It’s sort of isolated feeling at times, particularly when filling out questionnaires that ask about family health history. Try filling out an insurance form some time. The answers always the same.

    “Don’t know” and then comes that funny stare as the attendant squints up their nose and looks at you like you just came in off the Good Ship Lolipop.

    What you’ve said to me I’ve been told a hundred times by well meaning friends who think its “no big deal”.

    But it is a big deal if you’re the one stuck with the deal.

    As I said earlier except when I was younger and made a trip to the orphanage I’ve never really done much about it, other than post on a registry or two. It doesn’t bother me because I don’t think about it. I’m wrapped up in living and working and all that goes with it and I just don’t let myself sit there thinking about it anymore because thinking about it drives you crazy. So you just block it out and put it on the shelf for one of those “bucket list” items and move on.

    But I do not believe anyone is better off not knowing who their people are, and where they came from. Everyone has a right to know what their peoples strengths and weaknesses were and what “stock” they were cut for. For better or worse. If it’s bad, then fine. Be better. And if it’s good, then better yet. Because you can see perhaps strengths or talents you had never really considered before that may be lying dormant in you.

    It’s always better to know who your family was.

    Even if it’s just to keep from marrying your sister by accident.

  7. Waynbro,
    While there might be a good medical reason to know, I can think of a lot of reasons you might be glad not to know. When it comes to putting up a child for adoption, one thing you can be sure of is that person’s life was a mess. How big a mess you might not want to know. Would it increase your happiness quotient to find that you were the product of an incest rape? Perhaps the reason for adoption involved a father you should absolutely not get around?

    There is also the aspect of dragging that mess into the present, quite a few years have passed.

    You propose to make a womb a driving factor in having been raised by someone else? I think you’re making a mistake.

  8. You know it.

    In fact, if memory serves me correct with regards to my birds and the bees lecture given me by my adoptive parents, then isn’t it the heterosexuals who are making all these orphans needing adoption in the first place?

  9. Waynebro,
    You are correct that being a heterosexual gives no inherent ability to raise children. If it was true then we wouldn’t need a DCFS(Illinois Department of Children and Family Services)to handle the thousands of kids that are being screwed up by bad “straight” parents.

  10. The notion that simply being a homosexual makes someone a bad parent presupposes the notion that simply being a heterosexual makes them a good one.

  11. By the way I’m not saying that there’s a good reason for the law. I was just glad to be adopted rather than aborted so maybe some people will choose adoption if they know they can do it anonymously which may be the reason for some of these laws. I think there comes a time though when everyone has the right to find out where they came from. It sucks to be sure and I think everyone has a right to know who their people were. It sucks not knowing and if I had my druthers I would want to know. In fact I’ve often thought about hiring one of those people finder agencies you always see on the talk shows. Who knows. Perhaps some day when I’m feeling adventurous.

    I think adoption is a wonderful thing regardless of who’s doing it as long as they’re good people and plan on treating the kid well and giving them a good home. I can’t understand anyone wanting to limit something that does so much good.

  12. keerist. now we have gays demanding their phony coupling be witnessed by their childs adoption papers. keerist. doesn’t anybody respect the rights, wishes, and future of kids anymore?

  13. Yea the laws are really weird that way. They seem to favor the parents right to privacy over the kids right to know. Since it was the parent who made the mistake and had a kid they couldn’t raise for whatever reason, you’d think it would be the other way around. Of course maybe this is to encourage people to choose adoption over abortion so in that light I guess it’s a good thing. I was lucky to have gotten good parents who gave me a great childhood so it didn’t bother me as much. I was curious in my 20’s and went looking but like I said came up against a brick wall so I gave up.

    As for the parents sexuality I’d say it probably matters little to the kid waiting for a home. I was very young when I was adopted but old enough to know what was going on and I know I wouldn’t care if they were bi-sexual Siamese Twins joined at the neck as long as they cared about me and gave me a good home. Besides, Mike Brady was gay and he seemed to do a pretty good job raising Greg, Peter and Bobby. 🙂

  14. waynebro:

    I have always thought that restricting adoption records works a fraud on the adopted child. Rarely do courts give litigants protection from placement of their cases in the public record and I see no compelling reason to shield adults from the decisions they make and then which they ask the Court to validate.

  15. Waynebro–Not sure how you feel, but I would think that even if an adoptee has wonderful adoptive parents, the curiosity and desire to know one’s roots remains. I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t get answers at the orphanage. Regardless, as you have pointed out, this is totally irrelevant to the adoptive parents’ sexuality. I don’t understand Jennifer’s comment.

  16. Smári Roach Gunnarsson
    1, December 28, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    “Or in 30 years doesn’t this young child have the right to know who actually gave birth to him/her?”
    How would this question apply differently in the case of homosexual adoptive parents then heterosexual ones?
    in both cases the adoptive parents are unlikely to know who the biological parents are, and I don’t believe it is even possible for children given up for adoption at an early age to find put who, as you say “gave birth to them”.”

    Smari is correct.

    Being an adoptee myself I can tell you I haven’t a clue who my actual biological parents are. Many years back I and a friend took a trip to the orphanage I was adopted from to see what information I could get. Having been born in a state that restricts that information I was only given general non identifying information, nothing that would allow me to locate my biological parents. In fact even my Birth Certificate is weird. It’s dated 2 years after I was actually born. It shows the date of the certificate and then the date I was born, which is 2 years prior to the seal on the certificate. I know my birth name only thanks to having my actual papers of adoption, but my last name in the papers is so common that it does nothing to help. To this day I have no idea who my biological parents were or anyone even remotely physically related to me.

  17. All I have to say is notice the venue. Decision or not, this family is likely to have a hard go of it.

  18. Jennifer:
    “Or in 30 years doesn’t this young child have the right to know who actually gave birth to him/her?”
    How would this question apply differently in the case of homosexual adoptive parents then heterosexual ones?
    in both cases the adoptive parents are unlikely to know who the biological parents are, and I don’t believe it is even possible for children given up for adoption at an early age to find put who, as you say “gave birth to them”.
    I can in no way see that its a issue that has any bearing on the sexuality of the adoptive parents.

  19. Oh my freaking GOD! So which one gave birth (sarcasm) ?

    Or in 30 years doesn’t this young child have the right to know who actually gave birth to him/her?

    What a cluster-puck this will be. Looking forward to it being reversed on appeal.

Comments are closed.