For quite some time I’ve been following a case called Adar v. Smith. You can read back through the posts to get the facts, but here it is in a nutshell.
Oren Adar and Mickey Smith are a gay male couple who have jointly adopted a child. The child was born in Louisiana.
Louisiana routinely issues new birth certificates listing the adoptive parents when an adoption is completed. (All states do this–a whole other topic that intersects with this one. You can read up on in a different thread on the blog.) However, and this is a major however, Louisiana does not allow unmarried adults to jointly adopt. either will Louisiana recognize two men as being married. Thus, Adar and Smith could not have completed the joint adoption in Louisiana. (I think they completed the joint adoption in New York.)
Once they completed the adoption, Adar and Smith sought a new birth certificate. Remember that Louisiana routinely issues new birth certificates naming adoptive parents? If they do that for LA adoptions (and they do) then they must do the same for adoptions from the sister states. They cannot pick and choose among them. (This is what the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution does.)
But LA wants to do just that. The state declined to issue a new birth certificate. Adar and Smith sued. (Unhappily, the defendant, who is probably a state official is also named “Smith” and so the case is called Adar v. Smith, but the “Smith” in the case name isn’t the co-parent.) They won in district court. The won 3-0 before a panel of three judges from the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit. You’ll find links to all the opinions in earlier entries.
Tomorrow the case will be heard by all 16 judges from the Fifth Circuit. This is an en banc hearing. I’ll watch for coverage–it will be interesting to see how it goes.