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Alabama Supreme Court vacates ruling refusing to recognize same-sex adoption

[JURIST] The Alabama Supreme Court [official website] on Friday vacated its prior ruling refusing to recognize same-sex adoption. In its short opinion [decision, PDF], the court stated that "the Court of Civil appeals and the Jefferson Family Court erred in giving full faith and credit" to a Georgia state court decision declaring the woman the adoptive parent of her then same-sex partner's children. The court had ruled [decision, PDF] earlier this year that it would vacate its decision so long as it was determined that the "adoption decree appeared on its face to have been rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction." The US Supreme Court held that it was [decision, PDF].

Same-sex marriage and adoption rights remain in a state of legal uncertainty despite the Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] last June that states must allow same-sex marriage and recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. In March the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed petitions that sought a ruling declaring the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage valid [JURIST reports]. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore [official website] had instructed state judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses [JURIST report] in January. The Alabama Supreme Court had ruled in March 2015 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was legal, and Moore's order stated that ruling remained in effect despite the Supreme Court finding such bans unconstitutional. Moore's order had caused confusion among probate judges, with some defying the order and issuing same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] licenses.

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