Wisconsin judge approves same-sex adoption News
Wisconsin judge approves same-sex adoption

[JURIST] A judge for Wisconsin’s Dane County Circuit Court [official website] on Wednesday ruled that the marriage of a lesbian couple who wed in Iowa was constitutionally valid and that such marriages must be recognized under state adoption laws, approving the couple’s adoption of their two children. The attorney for the Riley family, Michele Perreault, has expressed concern [Wisconsin State Journal report] that the unlikelihood of appeal in this case means that the scope of Judge Shelley Gaylord’s ruling will be limited. Perreault has stated that she and her clients would like the attorney general to make a statement on whether he believes the children are entitled to equal protection under the law. Because the trial court decision does not create precedent with statewide impact, the Department of Justice decided against defending state adoption laws unless the case reaches an appeals court. Without an appeal by Attorney General JB Van Hollen, such an outcome is unlikely.

The legal debate over same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most active legal issues in the US. In recent months a number of states have faced challenges regarding the constitutionality of denying same-sex partners equal spousal rights. The Utah Supreme Court in May issued a stay [JURIST report] temporarily halting adoptions by second parents in legally wed same-sex couples.The Idaho Supreme Court ruled unanimously in February that a woman in a same-sex marriage may adopt her partner’s birth children [JURIST], setting the precedent for second-parent adoption in Idaho. The rule is not limited to same-sex couples, affirming the law in Idaho that any state resident over 18 may adopt a child if the statutory requirements are met. A week before US Attorney General Eric Holder announced the federal government plans to give married same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples [JURIST report] when filing for bankruptcy, testifying in court or visiting family members in prison. In February four legally married same-sex couples in the state of Ohio filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking a court order to force the state of Ohio to recognize [JURIST report] both spouses’ names on birth certificates.