It’s a horrible ruling — this effectively places all same-sex couples who have completed second parent adoptions in a gray area and the door is now shut on any further same-sex couple adoptions of the kind in question, leaving our legislature to deal with the adoption statutes. That’s really bad news, since our GA just rolled over to complete GOP control in the midterms.
The case is Boseman v. Jarrell and involves Julia Boseman, North Carolina’s first openly gay member of the General Assembly (she did not run for re-election and leaves office this month) and her former partner Melissa Jarrell.
The state Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that the adoption of Melissa Jarrell’s son by state Sen. Julia Boseman was invalid because a Durham County District Court judge waived a requirement five years ago that Jarrell had to give up her parental rights in the process.
Under the adoption plan approved by the lower court, Boseman became an adoptive parent while Jarrell retained full parental rights as well.
…The majority of justices let stand another lower court ruling allowing the two to have joint custody of the child, saying it would be in Jacob’s best interest for the women, who have been sharing parental responsibilities, to rear him.
Still, the ruling eliminates a method for same-sex couples to adopt and could raise legal questions about so-called “second parent” adoptions like this one. They have been granted in Durham and Orange counties in recent years, according to testimony and court documents.
With the wingnuts poised to re-introduce a marriage discrimination amendment next session, we’re about to enter a really challenging period for civil rights progress.
The sad part about the GOP rollover is that it’s not based on any trend toward conservatism (see Richard Burrs’ DADT repeal vote); the midterm switchover was due to the fact that the economy sucks and Dems were blamed. News14Carolina reported last week that the state just posted the largest job loss last month — 12,500. The elections were clearly a response to this continuing recession. But with that comes a huge hurdle for LGBT activists here as the wingnuts roll into office.