Federal Court Denies Accurate Birth Certificate to Son of Gay Dads
In February 2010, a federal appeals court upheld a December 2008 ruling by U.S. District Court judge Jay Zainey ordering the state of Louisiana to list both names of adopted gay parents, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, on their son's birth certificate. Their son was born in Louisiana but they adopted him in New York. The couple now lives in Orlando, and their case was overturned yesterday:
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that a Louisiana registrar's insistence that only one father's name can go on the certificate does not violate the child's right to equal protection under the law; nor does it deny legal recognition of the New York adoption by both men.
An attorney for the gay rights group Lamda Legal said the complex 72-page decision would have to be analyzed before a decision would be made on whether to appeal.
"These are certainly the types of claims that might interest the U.S. Supreme Court," said Ken Upton of Lamda Legal's Dallas office.
In Louisiana, adopted children get new birth certificates with their new parents' names on them. However, the state does not allow adoptions by unmarried couples. The state contends that putting both men's names on the birth certificate would violate state law.
Said Lambda Legal in a statement:
"We expected that the State of Louisiana would respect the court decrees of other states, just as states have done for over 200 years --and as the trial court and the earlier ruling of this court affirmed. But in today's ruling, this court seems willing to turn away from the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution just to deny an accurate birth certificate to this child adopted by his two fathers," said Ken Upton. "We are anstonished that Oren and Mickey and their son have been told by this court today that it is OK for the government to discriminate against their family."