Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, the gay fathers who wanted both their names to appear on the birth certificate of the Louisiana-born son they adopted in New York, have lost an appeal in federal court.
According to the Associated Press, "The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that a Louisiana registrar's insistence that only one father's name can go on the certificate does not violate the child's right to equal protection under the law; nor does it deny legal recognition of the New York adoption by both men."
Louisiana state law does not allow adoptions by unmarried couples, and same-sex marriage is not recognized in the state, which prevented both fathers' names from appearing on the birth certificate. The men argued that as a result, Louisiana treats the unmarried parents of adoped children differently from married parents.
Last year a federal district court judge ruled in the fathers' favor, and a three-judge panel of the fifth circuit upheld the ruling. However, Louisiana sought and won the rehearing before the full court of 16 judges.
According to the AP, Chief Judge Edith Jones wrote for the nine-member majority and rejected the claim about different treatment.
"This theory is unavailing in the face of the state's rational preference for stable adoptive families, and the state's decision to have its birth certificate requirements flow from its domestic adoption law," she said.
Jones also wrote that the full faith and credit clause, which was at issue, does not require Louisiana to "confer particular benefits on unmarried adoptive parents contrary to its law."
Adar and Smith formerly lived in California and now reside in Florida.
Lawyers with Lambda Legal, which represents the men, said they would analyze the decision before deciding on another appeal, which could take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.