Two nurses from Detroit, Michigan, will be among the 12 women and 19 men who are expected to have their same-sex marriage cases heard by the Supreme Court this month on April 28. The two women initially went to court under the pretext of winning the right to jointly adopt each other’s two children, but a federal judge eventually turned their case into one about their right to marry.
The women have a total of four adopted children who range in age from 2 to 6 between them along with a foster child they take care of. Each of the women had previously adopted two of the children themselves, but the state of Michigan currently equates joint adoption with marriage. Both women decided to take on the fight because they felt that not doing so would do more harm to their kids than if they chose to stand up and fight.
As other couples in the lawsuit have pointed out, the issue headed to the Supreme Court is not just about lesbian and gay Americans having the right to marry. Instead, it is an effort to confront the type of obstacles that same-sex couples often encounter. These obstacles include exclusion from being able to adopt each other’s children, inability to visit each other in the hospital when couples are not legally allowed to list each other as next of kin and death benefits that a surviving member of a couple is not able to receive because their union is not legally recognized.
Couples who are interested in learning more about their legal rights and their ability to adopt may find it beneficial to discuss their case with an experienced family law attorney.
Source: The Seattle Times, “Stories of love, life, death in high court gay marriage case,” Mark Sherman, April. 16, 2015