Saturday, October 15, 2005

Indiana Judges Battle Gay Adoption

An Associated Press story from today’s Fort Wayne News-Gazette details the struggles a Morgan County lesbian couple are encountering in their efforts to adopt a 1-year old girl originally placed in their home by foster care. The Morgan County Office of Family and Children placed the child with Becki Hamilton and Kim Brennan two days after the child was born and asked the couple to adopt the child according to the report.

The adoption hit a roadblock, however, when Morgan Circuit Court Judge Matthew Hanson learned the couple was unmarried. The judge ordered the agency to look for a married couple to adopt the child. Curiously, the story reports that the couple’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with the judge’s decision; instead, it was because they were unmarried. Of course, the judge knew that Indiana law would not permit the lesbian couple to legally marry.

The couple was not deterred by Judge Hanson’s decision. They then petitioned Marion County Superior Court Judge Charles Dieter, who granted the adoption, finding that the adoption was in the child’s best interests. Judge Hanson, however, refused to release the girl’s status as a ward of the Morgan County Office of Family and Children. The matter is now being appealed to the Court of Appeals.

The couple is getting the support of Lamba Legal in their battle to keep the one-year child. The report quotes Patricia Logue, a senior counsel for Lambda Legal as saying: “Do we really want a rule that says after a child has been with a family for a year and is doing very well that we’re going to uproot her and sort of roll the dice on another family just because they’re married? The main thing is what’s best for this kid.”

This will be an interesting case to watch. Don’t be surprised to see legislation ala Senator Pat Miller and her reproductive rights to further attack the rights of gays to be parents.

1 comment:

paula said...

Remember the last time a gay individual wanted to adopt and someone objected based on moral grounds? Or at least the last time it made the news.

Why don't people learn?