in 2006, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith legally adopted a Louisiana child while they were living in NY; they wanted both their names to appear on the birth certificate. Their simple request that Louisiana acknowledge reality was ruled against by a federal appeals court, and now the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case.
In their appeal, spearheaded by the gay rights advocacy group Lambda Legal, the couple said it was important both practically and symbolically they both be listed as the legal parents.
“Obtaining an amended birth certificate that accurately identifies both parents of an adopted child is vitally important for multiple purposes, including determining the parents’ and child’s right to make medical decisions for other family members at the necessary moments; determining custody, care, and support of the child in the event of a separation or divorce between the parents,” the legal brief said.
Lawyers for the men also said it is vitally necessary for Social Security and tax purposes, inheritance, insurance, school registration, and obtaining a passport.
Adar and Smith tried to have the birth certificate changed in Louisiana. All states have laws creating a right to accurate, amended official birth and identity documents that would be recognized in other states and by the federal government.
Darlene Smith, Louisiana’s registrar of vital records and statistics, refused their request. She took the position that the term “adoptive parents” in the applicable section of state law applies only to married parents, because in Louisiana, only married couples may jointly adopt a child.
Not that marriage in New York was an option open to this couple when they adopted their son. But the adoption did go through. Ms. Smith appears to have been pretending that these gentlemen were married for purposes of adoption, but not for purposes of record-keeping.
Why, Darlene, why such time and effort to screw people over, including innocent children? These men are both the parents–your employer, the state of Louisiana, would seem to have acknowledged as much by allowing the adoption. Why couldn’t you have made a note of the fact in the public record and let everybody get on with their lives?