The U.S. Supreme Court issued a summary reversal of an Alabama court’s decision on same-sex adoption that barred a lesbian woman from having contact with children she helped raise while in a relationship with their biological mother.
The case, known as V.L. v. E.L., began when Alabama refused to recognize a Georgia adoption. The parents, V.L. and E.L. were in a 17-year-relationship and had three children, who were birthed by E.L. via an artificial insemination. V.L., who officially adopted the children in Georgia in 2007, also helped raise them from birth.
(The women are referred to only by their initials in court papers.)
After an acrimonious breakup, V.L. sued E.L. in an Alabama court claiming her former partner had barred her from seeing her adopted children. The Alabama Supreme Court ultimately ruled in E.L.’s favor, arguing that it did not have to recognize the Georgia adoption.
SCOTUS’s decision today came via a summary reversal, meaning the court did not hear arguments in the case. But by reinforcing the effect of the “full faith and credit clause” of the U.S. Constitution, which holds that states must recognize court proceedings and other legal actions made in other states, the court has ultimately bolstered the rights of same-sex adoptive parents.