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Court to Hear Louisiana Birth Certificate Case

Court to Hear Louisiana Birth Certificate Case


Federal appeals court judges will consider on Wednesday the question of whether Louisiana must put both parents' names on the birth certificates of children adopted by same-sex couples.

The Associated Press reports on the case, which stems from the adoption of a boy from Shreveport in 2005 by Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith of San Diego, who adopted their son in New York state. A three-judge panel and a district judge have ruled that both men's names must appear on the birth certificate, but Louisiana maintains that it would violate the state's vital records laws.

"Adopted children get new birth certificates with their new parents' names on them," reports the AP. "But the state Attorney General's Office contends that Louisiana's registrar cannot put both Adar's and Smith's names on their son's birth certificate because they could not have adopted him together in Louisiana."

The AP continued, "U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey found that the law was so clear that no trial was needed. Louisiana's law requires the state to list adoptive parents' names. Because New York law allows adoption by unmarried couples, Louisiana had to follow that law in writing the new certificate, he wrote. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit upheld that decision last February. The state asked for a rehearing before the full court."

Last year, a Louisiana state senator from Shreveport proposed a bill that would have made it illegal for birth certificates to include names of people not allowed to adopt together in the state. He pulled the bill after members of a senate judiciary committee questioned the effort to change a law being challenged in court.

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