Supreme Court Asked to Hear Louisiana Case Denying Accurate Birth Certificate to Adopted 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 in April.

Louisiana Today, Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case:

Today Lambda Legal filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of a same-sex couple seeking an accurate birth certificate for their Louisiana-born son whom they adopted in New York. The state of Louisiana has refused to recognize the adoption and issue a birth certificate listing both fathers as the boy's parents.

"By treating adopted children whose parents are unmarried worse than other adopted children, Louisiana violates two well-established federal constitutional protections, both of which embody principles of equal treatment and unify us as a nation. First, the constitution mandates that Louisiana, like every other state, must treat all out-of-state adoption judgments equally. Second, Louisiana may not treat adopted children themselves differently based on the marital status of their legal parents," said Kenneth D. Upton, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's South Central Regional Office based in Dallas. "We have long since abandoned the notion that the government can punish children to express disapproval of their parents or their families. The state of Louisiana cannot withhold a birth certificate for this child simply because it doesn't like who his parents are."

View the legal papers filed today HERE.


  1. MT says

    I have a question for any legally savvy folks on here. When you adopt a child they put the adoptive parents on the birth certificate? What happens to the birth parents? I always figured the biological parents would be the ones on the birth certificate and the adoptive parents would be the ones on the adoption paperwork. Can anyone enlighten me?

  2. Jeff Kurtti says

    My husband and I had the same issue in Virginia with our first son. Our attorney there had to threaten a lawsuit against the Commonwealth before we received the amended birth certificate. It took more than a year to resolve.

    MT: Yes, the adoptive parents are the parents of record on the Birth Certificate. The biological parents’ identity status depends on the adoption circumstances.

  3. Rocco says

    My husband & I (we’re part of that 2008 crowd) adopted
    In LA County in 2000 & 2001. I am listed as the
    “mother. “It has made for some interesting conversations,
    especially at the border, customs, etc.

  4. BillyBoy says

    I think this gets only part of the story, leaving us wondering why the duo are appealing after winning.

    The gay dads won in District Court and then won again in the Court of Appeals. Then the full Court of Appeals heard the case (en banc) and they lost 9 to 7 in April 2011. That’s whyy they’re headed to the Supreme Court.

  5. NaughtyLola says

    Hang on a second: do the birth certificates for *all* adopted children get altered to obscure the actual human beings who produced them? Sorry kids, but I’m with LA on this one. The birth certificate is a record of the immutable facts surrounding a person’s BIRTH. If you want a certificate of adoption, make that an entirely different document. Nobody should have the authority to unilaterally obliterate someone’s identity like that, its totally insane.

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