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In the News: Protecting Kids and Families in North Carolina
Submitted by matty on Wed, 2012-06-13 13:54
from The American Civil Liberties Union.
We’ve just filed a new federal case in North Carolina to ensure that kids being raised by lesbian or gay parents can have legally protected relationships with both of the parents who are raising them. North Carolina bans second parent adoption – which is the name for that kind of protection – and the stories of two of our plaintiff families illustrate just how harmful the ban is.
Crystal Hendrix and Leigh Smith are raising two children together, 2-year-old Quinn and Joe, their baby. Crystal carried each of them and of course is recognized as their mother. But Leigh, the stay-at-home mom, can’t become a legal parent because of the ban on second parent adoption. Crystal’s parents have never accepted the women’s relationship, so both Crystal and Leigh have a real concern about what would happen if Crystal were to die or become legally incapacitated, with Leigh remaining a legal stranger to the kids. Crystal, Leigh, and Leigh’s parents tell their story here.
Megan Parker and Shana Carignan have been a couple for several years. In 2010, Megan adopted Jax, who has cerebral palsy, limited speech and mobility, and was living in a group foster home. Because of the second parent adoption ban, Shana can’t become a legal parent to Jax. When Jax was hospitalized later that year, Shana and Megan planned to take turns staying the night with him, but the hospital wouldn’t allow Shana to stay past visiting hours because she wasn’t considered his parent. With no breaks for a good night’s sleep, Megan stayed at Jax’s side around the clock for an exhausting five days in a row. As Shana explains, “Megan didn’t sign up to be a single mother. All I want is to be able to fully take on my responsibility as Jax’s mom, too.” Check out their story here.