Puerto Rican Court Looks at Gay Adoptions

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com November 23 2009 1:40 PM ET

A brief filed in a case in the supreme court of Puerto Rico asks the court to allow the same-sex partner of a child’s biological parent to adopt the child, in a process commonly known as second-parent adoption.
Puerto Rico currently does not allow same-sex couples second-parent adoptions, which are permitted in most of the United States.

The case, known as In the Matter of A.A.R, involves two women in a committed relationship who have both parented their child since birth. Thus far, the lower courts have narrowly ruled that second-parent adoption is only available to opposite-sex couples in Puerto Rico. The women are appealing in supreme court.

On November 12 the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic submitted a friend of the court brief arguing that international and comparaitive human rights law supports second-parent adoption rights for same-sex couples.

“The Clinic took the position that international and comparative human rights law together support an interpretation of Puerto Rico’s adoption law that would enable children in families with two same-sex parents to be adopted by their non-legal parent,” reported the law school's Gender & Sexuality Law blog.

“The Clinic concluded that, by according due consideration to the human rights law and norms that have long informed the Commonwealth’s jurisprudence, the court can and should interpret the Puerto Rican adoption law at issue to permit the child in this matter to be adopted by a parent she has known her entire life.”

Read more about the case here.