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Category: adoption

Supreme Court Rules Same Sex Couples Share Parental Rights to Children Born During Their Union

On March 7th, the Supreme Court of the United States rsame sex mother rightseversed the decision of the Alabama Supreme Court in the case of VL v EL. VL and EL are two women who, during the course of their long-term relationship, bore three children through donor insemination. In this case, VL, the non-biological mother was granted an adoption in Georgia. The couple later split, and VL sought visitation from EL. EL, now residing in Alabama, denied VL visitation on the grounds that the adoption was not valid in Alabama.

On September 18, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled against visitation, stating that the adoption performed in Georgia in 2007 was considered void in Alabama. This judgment broke a long-standing precedent that judgments entered into in other states would remain valid. The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution requires states to honor judgments made in other states. The case had formerly been heard in trial court and twice in the Court of Civil Appeals.

On November 16, 2015, VL asked the Supreme Court of the United States to consider this case, given that no other state had ever before refused to honor a same-sex adoption granted in another state. In December, the Supreme Court ordered that VL be granted temporary visitation rights and that the judgment of the Alabama Supreme Court be suspended.

On March 7th, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously that the Georgia adoption was legal and that VL bears full adoptive rights. This marks a major ruling and a victory for the rights of LGBT individuals and couples throughout the United States. This ruling protects the rights of same-sex parents, even after those parents relocate to a different state that may have different laws.

As families in the United States become more diverse, it is important that parents’ rights- whether same-sex or not- be protected by the law. If you believe your parental rights are being infringed upon, or you are being bullied out of your parental role, contact an experienced Alabama family law attorney. A parents’ rights are to be cherished and protected, not manipulated and sullied. Contact the Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC today online or at 205-623-1001 for a consultation.



Mississippi is the only state left to ban same-sex couples to adopt.  With the ever changing landscape of what family looks like there has been a case to challenge's Mississippi's ban on adoption for same-sex couples.  It is very difficult for me to believe that there would still be a ban in existence for ANY child to be adopted and brought into a loving home regardless of how that home is made up.  The U.S.. Supreme Court ruled over two months ago that same-sex couples were allowed to marry in ANY state.  The inequality challenge to Mississippi's ban will most likely prevail and do away with this prejudicial law.  Interestingly enough Mississippi has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children within its borders.  New York has been allowing same-sex couples to adopt since 1996. 

In Alabama, Probate Court is the proper place to file an adoption petition.  As of late, there have been several probate judges "called out" in the media for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  These judges have been sworn to uphold the law but even still, the environment in a few select counties is not as friendly as it should be. 

As an attorney who practices family law and sees children in foster care neglected and in need of love, I feel that every child that is wanted by anyone who will provide that love and affection should be able to adopt.  Children must come first and the biases of the prospective adoptive parents needs to be put aside.  There are safeguards in place to ensure that children are being adopted for the right reasons.  These couples seeking children have a real desire to provide a loving home that will nurture the child into adulthood.  They are willing to place their lives on a different track and add new members to their family in a positive way.  No matter what the makeup of their family is, if they are willing to jump through every hoop to adopt a child in need of care, laws like the Mississippi ban are due to be struck down.

At my firm I routinely file adoption cases and those are the most rewarding cases I do in my line of work.  Adoption is a very structured case based on statutory laws that are completely based on the best interest of the child.  Winning an adoption case whether it be for brand new parents or for step parent adoptions is a very satisfying experience for a family law lawyer.  Currently there are tax credits that are awarded in the same year as the adoption is finalized.  These will help you recoup the legal costs of an adoption.  Call us today for help in adding new additions to your family through adoption.  We are always here to answer your questions (205) 623-1001.  Our website can offer more information as well.


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