I participated in a national conference all this evening sponsored by the National LGBT Bar Association titled “What hath the North Carolina Supreme Court wrought?” which discussed the state of same-sex adoption in North Carolina.
For those who missed it, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in December 2010 that 2nd parent (co-parent) adoption is not authorized by that State’s statutes, thereby voiding all existing 2nd parent adoptions.
Read the North Carolina Supreme Court decision in Boseman v. Jarrell .
If you live in North Carolina and your partner has adopted your biological child, lawyers with experience in GLBT law suggest that you move your family to a state that does allow 2nd parent adoption …. and get an adoption granted in that state.
Connecticut allows co-parent adoption but remember that you, your partner and the child MUST be Connecticut residents (6 months is the benchmark) in order to obtain an adoption in this state. Read my earlier post: Establishing Residency in Connecticut for Co-Parent or Step-Parent Adoption. (Please, do not call or e-mail my office to ask how to get out of living in Connecticut or pretending to live in Connecticut — and still doing an adoption here. It’s not possible. You MUST be a resident or Connecticut courts do not have jurisdiction over your adoption. Period. There’s nothing more I can tell you. The above-referenced post tells you how to become a valid resident. And seriously, folks, I don’t have time to explain this over and over to a couple hundred people one caller/e-mailer at a time! I’m busy making adoptions happen for people who ARE residents of Connecticut. Thanks in advance for respecting this request).
Most people can’t afford to pick up and move to another state, of course. Not in this rough economy. For those who must remain in North Carolina, you should consult with a lawyer there who is experienced in GLBT law. From what was discussed in tonight’s teleconference, they can help you find ways to protect your family now that the adoptions are no longer valid. It’s a call you should make sooner rather than later. The North Carolina Gay Advocacy Legal Alliance may be able to assist you in finding the right lawyer.
It was speculated that this damaging court decision will open the door for North Carolina’s legislature to enact a state DOMA law (banning gays and lesbians from marrying). For the first time in approximately 100 years, North Carolina’s legislature is Republican-controlled. In light of the Court’s decision, that’s not good news.
In the coming weeks, I will post more on this topic. For now, read the Court decision I linked to above. Then talk to your straight allies and ask them how we can work together to prevent homophobic legislation.
If you live in North Carolina, get involved with Equality North Carolina and help them protect your rights.
Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.
copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski