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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin | Winter 2014

G. R. Fernambucq and Heather Fann (Boyd, Fernambucq, Dunn & Fann, P.C.) Domestic Law Alabama Court Of Civil Appeals Issues Ruling On Georgia Same-Sex Adoption On October 14, 2014, pursuant to an appeal from a biological mother of the Jefferson County Family Court’s grant to her former same-sex partner of visitation with three children that said partner (hereinafter, though the Court’s order arguably dissolves her status as such, “the adoptive mother”) adopted with the biological mother’s consent in Georgia, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed Judge Raymond Chambliss, finding “that the Georgia judgment was rendered without subject-matter jurisdiction.” The Court acknowledged different arguments having been raised by the appellant, but did not address those arguments, instead asserting that “the Georgia Supreme Court has not yet construed the provisions of the Georgia Adoption Code . . . to determine if it allows adoption by a same-sex partner who has assumed a de facto parental role,” and citing a dissenting opinion from a Georgia case which stated that a surrender or termination of parental rights was necessary in cases where the proposed adoptive parent is not a stepparent or spouse of the biological parent. ...the adoptive mother’s name is listed on the children’s Alabama birth certificates. The adoptive mother filed an action on October 31, 2013 to seek acknowledgment of her parental rights and custody of a child born in 2002 and twins born in 2004, all adopted via order of the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia in 2007, and Full Faith and Credit for that order under the United States Constitution, noting that the adoptive mother’s name is listed on the children’s Alabama birth certificates. She alleged having been in a romantic relationship with the biological mother from 1995 until 2011, and being involved as a parent to the children throughout the process of assisted reproduction, their births, and their entire lives, until such time as, following the demise of the relationship, the biological mother began denying the adoptive mother access to the children and to information about them. Upon transfer of the case from Jefferson County Circuit Court, Judge Chambliss denied the biological mother’s motion to dismiss the action for lack of 32 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin | Winter 2014
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