Louisiana Birth Certificate Bill Passes State House

For some time now I’ve been following the progress of one particular piece of legislation in Louisiana.    I’ll give a short version here, or you can follow the links.

The bill in question was spurred by a case involving two men–a gay male couple–who had adopted a child together.   They completed their adoption in NY, but the child was born in Louisiana and therefore has a Louisiana birth certificate.

The couple asked Louisiana to issue a new birth certificate with both their names on it.  (This is standard procedure in cases of adoption.)   Louisiana refused, asserting that it would not recognize an adoption by an unmarried couple.  (Unmarried couples are not allowed to adopt in Louisiana.)   The couple sued.  They won in the district court, but that victory has been stayed pending appeal.

This is the point at which the legislature decided to get into the act.   HR 60 provides that Louisiana will not issue birth certificates in cases of adoption unless the adoption itself would be lawful in Louisiana.  Since unmarried couples cannot adopt in Louisiana, the legislation prevents issuance of a birth certificate.

It’s not at all clear to me that the legislation adds anything to the state’s case.  But for the record, it passed the Louisiana House of Representatives today.   (It’s noted about half-way down the page I linked to.)  The Florida case decided earlier today does strongly suggest that the Louisiana will have to give full faith and credit to an adoption properly completed in another state.

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