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N.C. Voids Gay Senator's Adoption

N.C. Voids Gay Senator's Adoption


North Carolina's supreme court has voided state senator Julia Boseman's adoption of her former domestic partner's biological son, saying the birth mother would have had to give up her parental rights to make it legal.

The court ruled 5-2 that Boseman's adoption of Melissa Jarrell's son was invalid because a Durham County district court judge waived a requirement five years ago that Jarrell had to give up her parental rights, according to the Associated Press.

Associate justice Paul Newby wrote for the majority that the adoption never occurred in the eyes of the law because "lawmakers have made clear that the biological parent must terminate a legal relationship with the child. That part of the ruling favored Jarrell, who had sued to negate the adoption after the couple separated."

The majority of justices have let stand a lower court's ruling allowing the couple to have joint custody of the child, arguing that it would be in the child's best interest as they have been coparenting since 2002. But the supreme court's ruling eliminates an option for same-sex couples looking to adopt and calls into question second-parent adoptions like this one.

Second-parent adoptions have been granted in two counties in North Carolina.

"If our uniform court system is to be preserved, a new form of adoption cannot be made available in some counties but not all," Newby wrote.

Read the full story here.


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