Here’s a recent federal case wherein an United States citizen in the military followed the proper procedures to bring their foreign-born fifteen year old neice to the United States for adoption, but the family then missed the age 16 deadline to file for adoption. As a result of the missed adoption filing deadline, a Federal Judge just ruled that the child must leave the United States.
A recent Arkansas Supreme Court opinion, reversed and dismissed a lower court ruling regarding the procedure for issuing birth certificates reflecting the names of both same-sex parents when one parent conceives a child using an anonymous sperm donor.
While the same-sex couples were successful in obtaining their birth certificates (because that part of the lower court decision was apparently not appealed), the Supreme Court of Arkansas reversed and dismissed the lower court’s holding that the Arkansas Statutes were unconstitutional because the Statute allowed a husband of a wife artificially inseminated to be automatically named a father on their child’s birth certificate; however, the statute did not afford the same treatment to same-sex female couples whereby one of the parents is artificially inseminated.
October 2016, New York: Report that the ex-partner of a lesbian adoptive mother has filed a legal challenge against the adoptive mom who states that she is the only legal parent of her adopted child even though ex-partner might have been involved in raising the child but never co-adopted. It appears that the filing was triggered after adoptive mom and child sought to move out of the country without the ex-partner. This case seeks to build on an August 2016 case establishing that a non-adoptive/non-legal person may be able to file to seek visitation with a child under certain circumstances.
A recent New York Court case this month in Kings County Family Court approved second-parent adoptions for several married lesbian couples who legally gave birth to a child together in NY in order to provide the non-biological married parent with a better chance that her NY legal status as a parent would be recognized in other states and foreign countries.
A decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released this past Monday reversed and denied lower court rulings that allowed for the termination of a biological father’s parental rights in favor of an adoption recognizing the biological mother and the biological mother’s father (the children’s paternal grandfather) of twins as a parent.
Citing concerns for potential adoption abuse, lack of statutory authority, and a review and rejection by the Court comparing the instant proposed mother-grandfather adoption analogous to a step-parent adoption, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was unwilling to carve out a new adoption path involving a parent and a grandparent.
The decision is noteworthy because the Court recognized and acknowledged the continuing evolution and changes to family types implying that they needed protection.
In reviewing this case and the recent decision from a New York court regarding protections to relationships between children and non-parents who fill the role as a parent, it is important to remember that the adoption filing was likely triggered by a parent seeking the Court’s assistance based on a child’s best interest.
Like the New York case released earlier this week, these cases present difficult and complicated issues that may have existed in the past but were never realized or, if realized, unlikely years ago to be taken seriously and brought before a Court. Now with recent expansive recognition of families, new adoption configurations that were once deemed not worthy of recognition are now at the court steps begging for consideration, recognition, and a chance to prove that the arrangement presented is in a child’s best interest. Should children involved in these cases have to wait for a legislative body to recognize their other parent or should a Court step in first? Here’s one recent story where a young adult had to wait until she finally turned eighteen for her step-father to legally be recognized as her father over the likely objection of her biological father.
Important decision today out of the State of New York allowing a same-sex ex-partner to be potentially considered under New York law as a child’s other “parent” for purposes of standing to seek custody and visitation of a child. This decision may put a stop to the unfortunate past history of a biological parent in a same-sex relationship alleging after a falling out with their ex-partner that the law should consider their ex-partner (not biologically or legally related to the child) as a legal stranger to the child even though the ex-partner helped raise the child prior to the breakup.
Report that an activist Wisconsin Judge appointed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker disagreed with a same-sex married couple’s surrogacy arrangement and appointed a Guardian Ad Litem who a few years earlier wrote an article against same-sex marriage. The Guardian Ad Litem charged about $100,000 in fees and the Court ultimately concluded same-sex married couple was great and “extraordinary” but implied that surrogacy was close to human trafficking and cautioned that next gay married couple might not be so great. The Judge eventually resigned a year after the decision was issued and recently lost a bid to land a seat on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. The family spent about $400,000 in unexpected legal fees before the decision was reversed by new judge.