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US Supreme Court steps in after Alabama court stops lesbian mum seeing her own kids

Nick Duffy December 16, 2015

The US Supreme Court has stepped in to grant a lesbian mother visitation rights to see the children she has raised from birth – after an Alabama court tried to ‘void’ her same-sex adoption.

The mother, known as V.L. in court documents, had a decade ago adopted the three children her then-partner E.L. conceived through IVF.

The pair recently split after a breakdown of their relationship, and V.L pushed for visitation rights.

But the Alabama court ruled that it could not recognise her as the children’s mother – because it doesn’t see their same-sex adoption from the state of Georgia as valid.

The decision blocked V.L.’s visitation rights – cutting her off from her children, aged 13, 11 and 11.

However, this week the highest court in the US has stepped in – to stay the ruling, temporarily restoring the woman’s right to see her children.

The United States Supreme Court ordered that the mother be allowed to see her children, pending review of the ruling.

The mother said: “I’m overjoyed that my children and I will be able to be together again.

“It’s been so long— more time that I ever thought I could bear —since we have been able to be together and just do the everyday things that parents do with their children, like having dinner together and helping them with their homework.

“I adopted my children more than eight years ago to be sure that I could always be there to protect them.

“This terrible Alabama decision has hurt my family and will hurt so many other families if it is not corrected.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is representing V.L. in the case.

NCLR Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura: “I am relieved for V.L. and her children that they can be reunited.

“For any adoptive parent, it would be unthinkable that their adoption could be invalidated years later and that they could be separated from their children for months while they fought to be recognized.

“V.L. and her children have already endured what no parent or child should ever have to experience.”

The group added: “Before this ruling, no state supreme court has refused to recognize a same-sex parent’s adoption from another state—or any out-of-state adoption—based on a disagreement with how the court issuing the adoption interpreted its own adoption laws.”

More: adoption, alabama, civil partnership, civil union, Couples, equal marriage, Gay, gay weddings, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, same sex weddings, Same-sex, Union, US, wedding

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