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Puerto Rico court ruling on gay adoptions appealed

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A lesbian whose adoption request was recently denied by Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court is appealing the ruling.

The ruling last last month came in the case of an unidentified woman who has sought for the last eight years to adopt a 12-year-old girl who her partner of more than 20 years had through in vitro fertilization.

Attorney Nora Vargas represents the woman and said Wednesday that it is in the child’s best interest for the woman to adopt the girl as the second parent.

The announcement of the appeal comes two weeks after the high court voted 5-4 to uphold a law banning gay couples from adopting children.

A majority of judges upheld the constitutionality of a law that states a person cannot adopt a single-parent child if the would-be adopter is of the same sex as the child’s mother or father without that parent losing their legal rights.

The judges also said a family composed of a mother and father is best for a child’s dignity, stability and well-being.

“The state … has not criminalized their sentimental relationship, but it does not have a constitutional obligation to award this relationship the same rights that other relationsh ips have when it comes to adoption procedures,” the majority’s opinion said.

It was the first time the court heard a case on same-sex adoptions.

Legislators in the U.S. territory are considering several proposals to extend more rights to gays and lesbians.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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