The American Civil Liberties Union sued North Carolina today, contending that the state’s ban on second-parent adoptions discriminates against same-sex couples and is unconstitutional. Second-parent adoptions, in which one partner adopts the child of another, can occur in gay and straight relationships, but have been banned in North Carolina since 2010.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of six same-sex couples, including Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne, who each carried one of their two children. The couple was treated rudely by hospital staff during the birth of one of their children:
MARCIE FISHER-BORNE:We were treated as if our family was less than other families during what should have been one of the happiest occasions of our lives. We don’t ever want there to be any question as to who should care for our children. If something were to happen to either one of us, it could tear our family apart.
According to the lawsuit, the ban on second parent adoptions violates the constitutional rights of children, and denies them the permanency and security of a loving home. Protections that children lack without access to second parent adoptions include:
[E]nsuring that all children in the family are covered if one partner lacks health insurance, ensuring that families will stay together and children will not be torn from the only home they’ve known if something should happen to the biological parent, ensuring that either parent will be allowed to make medical decisions or be able to be by their child’s bedside if one their children is hospitalized.