On March 7th, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed 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.