Monday, December 14, 2015

Supreme Court Grants Relief To Lesbian In Alabama Adoption Case

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted a lesbian woman's request to have the adoption of her former partner's children be enforced while the court decides whether to hear her appeal of an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that the adoption was void.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet said whether it will hear the appeal of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, but on Monday granted the woman's request that the state court's ruling be recalled and stayed until it decides whether it will do so.

That request, filed in mid-November, features a complex case in which a lesbian couple in Alabama went to Georgia in 2007 so that one of those women, referred to as V.L. in court filings, could adopt the children of E.L.

Years later, when E.L. and V.L's relationship ended, V.L. sued in Alabama to have the adoption decree enforced for visitation and other parental purposes. Although a lower court sided with V.L., the Alabama Supreme Court ruled otherwise in September of this year, holding that the Georgia adoption was "void" because, the Alabama court maintained, it should not have been allowed under Georgia law.

The U.S. Supreme Court action on Monday recalls the Alabama Supreme Court's judgment and puts it on hold until the Supreme Court decides whether to grant V.L.'s petition for certiorari. If the petition is denied, the stay will "terminate automatically." If cert is granted, the stay will remain in place until the final mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court is issued.

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