An Alabama Supreme Court made a huge mistake. The court refused to recognize parental rights to a lesbian woman who had already adopted the children in a neighboring state.
In fact, the woman at the center of this case, V.L, adopted the children in 2007 during a 17-year relationship with her partner, E.L., and had even changed her last name to match her partner's surname.
Here's the full story. Now that gay marriage can take place in the United States, some of the remaining issues have yet to be ironed out, such as family law matters.
So far, more than 20 states have allowed gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. In the case of the Alabama woman, she had already adopted three children her former partner had given birth to. Those children are now 13 and 11-year-old twins.
After seventeen years together, the women separated. For some time, V.L. continued to visit the children until E.L. decided to prevent access to the kids. That's when V.L. asked the Alabama Court to honor the adoption judgment that V.L. had obtained in Georgia.
The Alabama court responded by asserting that Georgia had violated its state laws when it allowed V.L. to adopt the three children. The Alabama court also noted that to allow V.L. to adopt the children, George should have forced E.L., V.L.'s partner, to relinquish her parental rights.
The Alabama court even went further and asserted that V.L. didn't deserve visitation with the children she had already been raising.
V.L. appealed the Alabama Supreme Court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which blocked the Alabama court from denying parental rights to V.L.