[JURIST] The Arkansas Supreme Court [official website] on Friday temporarily blocked lower court ruling allowing both partners in same-sex couples to be listed as the “birth parents” on birth certificates of their children. The court and state health department will, however, allow [Arkansas News report] the three same-sex couples who brought suit to have their children’s birth certificates amended to list their names. The lower court decision, which cited the June decision by the Supreme Court of Arkansas mandating the recognition of same-sex marriages [JURIST report], stated [Reute’s report], “[the] decision affords the plaintiffs, as same-sex couples, the same constitutional rights with respect to the issuance of birth certificates and amended birth certificates as opposite-sex couples.”
The legal debate over same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and adoption rights persists in the US. 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 report], 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. 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.