Very dissapointing.The Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a gay California couple who sought to have both of their names listed on their adopted son's birth certificate. The case was considered a "significant test" on the rights of gay couples who adopt a child.
The San Diego couple legally adopted a 1 year-old boy from Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2006. The adoption was later finalized in New York state, where the couple was then residing, reports CNN.
The justices rejected the California couple's appeal Tuesday without comment. The couple claims that Louisiana, where the child was born, has an unconstitutional policy against adoption by unmarried partners. The state used that policy to justify naming only one of them on an amended birth certificate. The men, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, argue gay couples have a due process right to be listed on such certificates as joint custodial parents. A federal appeals court ruled against the couple earlier this year.
Darlene Smith, Louisiana's registrar of vital records and statistics, refused their request. She took the position that the term "adoptive parents" in the applicable section of state law applies only to married parents, because in Louisiana, only married couples may jointly adopt a child.
Louisiana state officials argued they did not refuse to recognize the New York adoption decree, and had offered to list one of the parents on the official amended birth certificate. But Adar and Smith insisted both of them should be named.
A favorable ruling in the case was expected to have broad implications in the current legal battle over same sex marriage that is winding its way through the state and federal courts. But the case "did not raise the basic question" of whether same-sex couples have the legal right to adopt, reports the SCOTUS Blog.
Rather, the issue was whether they have a right to equal treatment with married non-gay couples in having both parents’ names listed on the child’s birth certificate. The case also was considered an important case on the meaning of the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, because of the sharply narrow scope given to that Clause by the Fifth Circuit Court.
The case was spearheaded by Lambda Legal.
"By denying this writ, the Supreme Court is leaving untouched a dangerous Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling," said Kenneth D. Upton, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney. "That carves out an exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution and to the uniformly recognized respect for judgments that states have come to rely upon. This decision leaves adopted children and their parents vulnerable in their interactions with officials from other states."
The case is Adar v. Smith.