N.C. court voids same-sex adoption

RALEIGH, N.C. (BP)--North Carolina's Supreme Court has voided an adoption by an openly homosexual state senator because a lower court waived a state law that the child's biological mother -- the senator's lesbian partner -- give up her parental rights.

The adoption had been seen as a model for same-sex adoption in the state, and similar adoptions had been granted in Durham and Orange counties, the Associated Press reported. The ruling did not overturn a lower court's decision to allow the women to have joint custody of the child.

The biological mother, Melissa Jarrell, was living with state Sen. Julia Boseman when the child was born in 2002, the AP reported. Under the adoption plan approved by the lower court, Jarrell retained full parental rights while Boseman became an adoptive parent of the boy. The move violated a state law that protects adoptive parents from legal claims by biological parents after an adoption is final.

Several Christian groups filed briefs arguing the adoption clearly violated state law, the AP reported. The American Civil Liberties Union asked the court to uphold the adoption over state law to ensure children in similar situations would be in "stable family environments."

Homosexual relationships, however, are not known for their stability, said Timothy J. Dailey, senior fellow for policy at Family Research Council, in an article titled "Ten facts about counterfeit marriage."

"Many homosexuals and their sex partners may sincerely believe they can be good parents. But children are not guinea pigs for grand social experiments in redefining marriage, and should not be placed in settings that are unsuitable for raising children," Dailey noted in the article. He cited a study in the Netherlands that found the average duration of a homosexual relationship to be 18 months and that "committed" homosexual couples have an average of eight other sexual partners each year.

"Children should not be placed in unstable households with revolving bedroom doors," Daily said.

For same-sex, second-parent adoptions to be legal, North Carolina would have to adopt a same-sex marriage law or change the adoption law, Michelle Connell, chairwoman of the family law section of the North Carolina Bar Association, told the Associated Press. Voters, however, gave Republicans a majority in the state legislature in fall elections, and the GOP is considering proposing a constitutional amendment to prohibit "gay marriage."


Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor and senior writer Mark Kelly.

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