There’s a Louisiana case I’ve been following in which two gay men who had properly adopted a child in New York wanted a birth certificate that listed both of their names. The problem is that the child was born in Louisiana and Louisiana would not have allowed the two men to adopt. Since the child was born in Louisiana, only Louisiana could issue a birth certificate.
As that earlier post recounts, the men have had success in court, although the order in their favor was stayed. The lawyer for the state suggested at that time that he’d seek legislation on the matter.
Well, here’s the legislation. It’s HB 60 and it had a committee hearing in the Louisiana legislature today. (I cannot tell what happened at the hearing–perhaps it isn’t posted yet.) The bill provides that the state will not issue a birth certificate to an adoptive couple unless the couple would have qualified for adoption in Louisiana.
Recall that Louisiana does not permit unmarried couples to adopt. This means that, if this statute passes, Louisiana will have a law that says it won’t issue new birth certificates with the names of any unmarried couple on it. Since Louisiana doesn’t recognize marriage between two people of the same sex, that means no lesbian and gay couples can get birth certificates from Louisiana, even if they’ve fully completed an adoption in a state that permits them to do so.
As my earlier posts noted, the critical question at the heart of the birth certificate cases is whether Louisiana has to recognize the adoptions properly conducte in other states. The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution may well require it to do so. It’s not clear to me this new legislation would actually change that argument much. But I suppose it is the thought that counts?