Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
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Same-sex couple adoption case brought to US Supreme Court

Bringing a child into your life and family through adoption is an incredible event and adoptive parents can be overwhelmed with joy and anxiety, as is the case for any parent. However, there are some additional concerns adoptive parents need to consider when it comes to their relationship with their child.

One of the primary issues that should be addressed is protecting the legal rights of an adoptive parent. Making sure you secure and enforce your parental rights as soon as possible can be a good way to avoid devastating consequences. Unfortunately for too many parents, this process is more complicated than they anticipate.

For example, two women -- a former couple -- are battling out their custody case in court and the U.S. Supreme Court was recently asked to make a ruling on the case.

Like other people in same-sex relationships, the two women in this case were in a committed union before the federal government declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, which meant they were never legally married. By that time federal laws changed, the two women had three children and split up.

Before the break up, the women traveled to Georgia in order to allow the non-biological mother to adopt the children, as their home state of Alabama would not allow these types of adoption.

Now the adoptive mother's rights and relationship with her children are being threatened after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that adoption laws in Georgia had been "misapplied". In the eyes of the law, she has no rights as a parent.

The adoptive mother is now hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case and reverse the state Supreme Court's decision as it is unconstitutional, she argued. The court should have given "full faith and credit" to the adoption orders granted in Georgia but failed to.

This case highlights some of the very complicated and frustrating steps same-sex couples and other adoptive parents need to go through just to protect themselves and their relationship with their children.

Considering the fact that federal laws regarding same-sex marriage changed only recently, gay and lesbian parents all across Georgia may want to discuss their legal options regarding adoption and their parental rights with an attorney to address or avoid any potentially disastrous disputes.

Source: NPR, "Supreme Court Is Asked To Take Messy Interstate Case On Same-Sex Adoption," Nina Totenberg, Nov. 18, 2015

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
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Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
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