As I discussed yesterday, the Louisiana legislature is considering a bill (HB 60) that would prohibit Louisiana from issuing a birth certificate listing anyone not qualified to adopt in Louisiana as a parent. The impetus for this effort is a law suit by two gay men who have jointly adopted a child in New York State.
The adoption is perfectly proper under New York law, but the child in question was born in Louisiana. Therefore, the new parents sought a new birth certificate from Louisiana listing their names.
The thing is, in Louisiana only a married couple or a single person can adopt. No unmarried couples. And no same-sex couples can be married, in the view of Louisiana. (The Constitution of the state restricts marriage to one man/one woman and out of state marriages that do not comport with this arrangement are not recognized.) Hence, the two men are not qualified under Louisiana law to adopt as a couple.
Lots that’s interesting here and much of it I’ve already discussed. I remain fascinated by a scheme that allows single people (including lesbians and gay men) to adopt, but prohibits couples from adopting unless they are married.
But here all I want to do is pass along a small update–the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee has approved the legislation. The bill now proceeds to the full house. Note that although the adoption restriction in question makes no mention of adoption by lesbians or gay men (one of the it’s selling points, I suspect), it’s clearly understood by all that this is what is at stake here.
While on the subject, there’s an recent case out of Nebraska that relates to the same issue, though in a quite different context. An adult adoption was completed in California. Nebraska does not permit adult adoptions. Nevertheless, Nebraska must recognize the California adoption by virtue of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. As the Nebraska Supreme Court notes (quoting the US Supreme COurt) there is no “roving public policy exception” to the full faith and credit due judgments.
In other words, contrary Nebraska public policy does not allow a Nebraska court to shy from recognizing and giving effect to the California court’s judgment of adoption. You can see that this same reasoning ought to compel Louisiana to recognize and respect the New York adoption above.