U.S. Supreme Court overturns Alabama court, restores visitation rights to lesbian adoptive mother

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US Supreme Court

Early Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision reversing an Alabama court’s refusal to recognize a same-sex adoption in neighboring Georgia.

The court overturned the decision without scheduling the case for oral arguments and full briefing, saying that the Alabama Supreme Court overstepped its authority when it ignored the long-standing precedent that state courts must recognize legitimate rulings by courts in other states.

“A state may not disregard the judgment of a sister state because it disagrees with the reasoning underlying the judgment or deems it to be wrong on the merits,” its reversal said. Rather, Alabama must give “full faith and credit” to the Georgia court’s decision.

The two women in the case were identified in court documents as V.L. v. E.L., No. 15-648. “V.L.” sought visitation rights after splitting with her lesbian partner, “E.L.,” who gave birth to three children between 2002-04 while the pair was together.

The ruling issued Monday restores full rights as an adoptive parent to “V.L.,” who said she was overjoyed with the ruling.

“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,” she said in a statement.

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