Lesbian couple escalate adoption rights battle, attempt to have equal marriage ban deemed unconstitutional
A US couple have escalated their same-sex adoption battle to encompass their state’s ban on same-sex marriages. The couple said they are fighting for equality not for themselves, but for the rights of their children.
April DeBoer and partner Jayne Rowse, of Hazel Park, Michigan, amended their complaint to Judge Bernard A. Friedman, who had previously suggested they do so.
They are now challenging the ban on same-sex marriages, and pushing Michigan Governor Richard Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard Jr. to declare it uncstitutional.
The couple, who have three children, and who are certified by the state as fit to foster together, are not allowed to adopt together, as the state only allows singles or married couples to adopt.
They cannot marry because same-sex unions are currently not recognised in the state of Michigan.
The couple attended a press conference today:
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“This is totally not what we expected by any means,” Rowse said, reported the Detroit Free Press.
“We wanted to keep the kids’ rights at the forefront, the rights that any other child has.”
Dana Nessel, an attorney acting on behalf of the couple said:
“The state gave them children who had been abandoned and surrendered at birth to raise,”
“And they are raising them with all the love, nurturing, care and affection that any parent would give to any child. But the state then rewards these women by telling them while they are good enough to foster as a couple, they aren’t good enough to adopt as a couple. We submit that this is pure and utter insanity.”
They expressed worries over issues such as health insurance, as the children could lose the right to treatment if something were to happen to one of the couple, as some policies only cover the children of married couples.
Judge Bernard A. Friedman had previously said he would issue a ruling on a state request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the ban on adoptions by unmarried couples – but not before he suggested the plaintiffs amend their suit to encompass the state’s marriage amendment.
Judge Friedman agreed to postpone a decision on the first part of the case, the adoption, until state officials had a chance to respond to the new development.