Court: Louisiana Must List Both Adoptive Dads on Birth Certificate

The state of Louisiana has been ordered by a federal court to list the names of both adopted fathers on a boy’s birth certificate, a decision with strong emotional implications as well as practical ones such as insurance and travel safety:

Louisiana“The facts are so clear that no trial is needed, U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey wrote. ‘What a great Christmas present for these guys!’ said Kenneth D. Upton Jr. who represented Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith of San Diego. In his ruling Monday, Zainey said Louisiana’s Office of Vital Records must give full faith and credit to the New York State court in which Adar and Smith adopted the boy, he ruled Monday. The office had refused to issue a birth certificate listing both as the boy’s legal parents. Upton, reached at home Saturday evening, said he hopes to get a birth certificate in the coming week but doesn’t know whether the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office — which is in charge, although a state health department attorney argued the case — will decide to appeal. The attorney general’s office will look into the matter next week, said Tammi Arender Herring, spokeswoman for Attorney General James ‘Buddy’ Caldwell. Upton, of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc. of Dallas, said it is the fourth case of its kind that he knows of. Cases in Oklahoma, Virginia and Mississippi also were decided in the parents’ favor — the Mississippi case decided at trial about a month ago, he said.”

Plenty of other issues will be affected as well: “Adar also said the family often travels, and because the boy is black and they are white, an airline worker once stopped them, thinking they were kidnapping the child. ‘Every time we fly, we fear this could happen again,’ he wrote.”