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Same-sex, second-parent adoptions to be recognized nationwide

If you previously adopted a child through a second-parent adoption, you may have been concerned that it wouldn't be recognized in another state. That's now changed thanks to a major decision by the United States Supreme Court.

Good news has been announced for those with same-sex adoptions in Georgia. According to the news, the adoptions are valid in other states, but not just adoptions that took place recently. A landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling states that anyone who legally shares parenting rights through a second-parent adoption can expect to have any state recognize the adoptions and to honor them. If the states do not, then your attorney now has the power to file a claim against the state on your behalf.

Previously, Alabama had refused to recognize a same-sex second-parent adoption from Georgia, and the United States Supreme Court had to step in. In the original case, two women had children together; the second adopted the children, becoming a legal guardian and obtaining parental rights. When the two split up and ended their relationship, the second parent argued that she was having her access to the children withheld. The Alabama Supreme Court denied her requests for custody and visitation rights on the basis of not recognizing the Georgian court's actions of allowing the second-parent adoption.

The Alabama justices believed the Georgia court did not have the jurisdiction to allow the adoption in the first place. However, the justice in the Alabama court also acknowledged bias in the case, claiming children should be adopted into families with one father and mother.

Source: Daily Report, "Georgia's Same-Sex Adoption Is Valid in Alabama, US Supreme Court Says," Cynthia D. Wright and Amy B. Saul, July 19, 2016

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