Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New lawsuit aimed to strike down Michigan adoption laws preventing same-sex couples from adopting

SourceCouple fights for family with lawsuit seeking gay joint adoption, By David Ashenfelter, Detroit Free Press

On Monday, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a lesbian couple from Oakland County, filed suit in federal court to attempt to change the law in Michigan as it relates to gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples jointly adopting children.  Currently, the couple has three children; DeBoer is the adoptive parent to their daughter and Rowse is the adoptive parent of their sons.  But under the current law in Michigan, neither of them can legally adopt the other child(ren), giving each of the children two adoptive parents.

The women, both of whom are nurses and state-certified foster parents, want to change the law so that in the event that something happens to one of them, the other parent would be the child(ren)'s legal parent and be able to keep the child(ren).  Also, the children would have more benefits available to them by having two legal parents, including Social Security benefits, workers compensation, pensions, insurance, and the right to have at least one parent available to make decisions if the other parent is unavailable or incapacitated. 

Currently, the Michigan Constitution prohibits same-sex couples from marrying.  A separate state law prohibits a second parent from adopting if the couple isn't married.

We will keep you posted on this important pending lawsuit.

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