Nebraska women await custody ruling
December 05 2003 12:00 AM ET
Two mothers battling for custody of their adopted son are now waiting to hear a Nebraska judge's decision in their case. A two-day trial to determine whether Serenna Russell or Joan Bridgens would have custody of their 7-year-old son took place last month. Russell and Bridgens were formerly a couple. Douglas County district judge Joseph Troia must now release an order determining custody of the child. There is no release date set for the order.
Bridgens adopted the baby boy in 1996 while in a relationship with Russell. A year later Russell and Bridgens jointly adopted the boy while living in Pennsylvania. After the couple split, Russell asked the lower court to recognize the joint adoption so she could gain legal custody of the boy and petition Bridgens for child support.
No Nebraska court has ruled whether a gay couple can adopt a child. Troia initially rejected Russell's request, saying the state of Pennsylvania lacked jurisdiction to recognize the adoption as valid.