The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reversed the Alabama Supreme Court's refusal to recognize adoption by same-sex partners.
A woman brought the challenge to the Supreme Court after Alabama's highest court refused to recognize her adoption of three children she helped raise with her former partner.
The woman — whose name was not revealed by the court — was in a relationship with another woman, but they are now separated. While still together, one of the women gave birth to three children between 2002 and 2004, reports USA Today. After the women separated, the birth mother denied her former partner visitation rights. The ex-partner established temporary residency in Georgia, and a court there granted her adoption rights to the three children. Alabama's high court dismissed the Georgia ruling, effectively denying the ex-partner any rights as a parent.
But the Supreme Court reversed Alabama's ruling, writing, "A state may not disregard the judgment of a sister state because it disagrees with the reasoning underlying the judgment or deems it to be wrong on the merits." The high court had previously blocked the Alabama court action while considering the case, temporarily restoring the former partner's visitation rights.
The Human Rights Campaign praised the decision from the Supreme Court in a statement from legal director Sarah Warbelow:
“Any attempt to deny legal rights to our families is reprehensible, and this ruling establishes that bias and discrimination cannot be allowed to undermine the bond between LGBT parents and their children. The nation’s highest court today ruled in the best interests of these children, setting a firm precedent for others across our nation. These children have two parents, and should have the security that comes with legal recognition.”