While I am doing updates, here’s another tidbit. There’s a case I’ve been following for a long time–Adar v. Smith. Oren Adar and Mickey Smith (not the Smith of the case name) are a gay male couple who adopted a child. The child happened to be born in Louisiana. The adoption was completed in NY, where two men are permitted to jointly adopt. Following the adoption, Adar and Smith asked Louisiana to issue a new birth certificate–one that listed both their names.
Now I understand that to many people this may seem odd. After all, Adar and Smith are not the birth parents of the child. But the listing of “parents” on a birth certificate is not a statement of historical fact. It is not a statement that these people are the original parents of the child or even a statement that one of them was present at the birth. It’s routine to issue new birth certificates after adoption–ones that list the adoptive parents. It’s the proof you have that you are now a legal parent.
There’s a whole discussion to be had about whether this is a good or a bad idea (and if you read under the tag “birth certificates” you will find some of that. But this is not my purpose here. Suffice it to say that Louisiana refused to issue the new birth certificate because it would not have allowed Adar and Smith to adopt. (They aren’t married, you know?)
That’s actually a surprising ruling–issuance of birth certificates after out-of-state adoptions are pretty routine. But Louisiana wouldn’t do it and so Adar and Smith sued. They won the first two court decisions but lost the third and most recent. This is all the subject of earlier posts.
The last resort is review by the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not have to grant review–it is strictly optional. To obtain it you file something called a petition for certiorari. What you must do in that petition is persuade the Court that the issue is an important one–one that is worthy of consideration even though their time is limited. By contrast, the state (opposing review) wants to say that there is nothing very interesting about the case.
So the cert petition (that’s the short name) has been filed. And with it a handful of amicus briefs–that means arguments by other people in support of one of the parties. You can see the list of people trying to persuade the Court that it should take the time to hear the case.
I’ve signed on to one of the briefs myself–one prepared jointly by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and big law firm called Dewey and LeBoeuf.
I offer all this an an update. I’ll watch for the opposition. (I think they have thirty days to file.) The Supreme Court will decide whether or not to review the case sometime this fall.