Alabama court reverses itself, allows visitation case after same-sex couple split


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama appeals court reversed itself on Friday, ruling that a woman who separated from her same-sex partner in Georgia can pursue visitation rights in Alabama.

gavelThe Alabama Court of Civil Appeals unanimously held that a second parent adoption granted to now separated same-sex parents by a Georgia court in 2007 must be recognized in Alabama, and that the adoptive mother of the couple’s three children must be recognized as their parent and allowed to seek custody or visitation.

The court explained that the “Georgia judgment is entitled to full faith and credit throughout the United States, including Alabama,” and ordered the case sent back to Family Court for a hearing on visitation.

The decision reverses the same court’s earlier ruling last fall, which ruled that the adoption was void and could not be recognized because the Alabama court interpreted Georgia law as not allowing second parent adoptions.

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The two women were in a long-term relationship and had three children through artificial insemination. A Georgia court let the non-biological mother adopt the children, and she later sought visitation rights in Alabama where the family now lives.

The change comes after a federal judge struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. however the opinion doesn’t directly mention that decision.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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